A Cowboy’s Faith: Mistakes can have consequences – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Mistakes can have consequences

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The only way to not ever make a mistake is to never do anything.”

While there is limited accuracy to the comment, nobody can accomplish anything when doing nothing.

Certainly, lots of mistakes have been made in seven-plus decades. Most of them didn’t really matter in the long run. They weren’t even known by others and sometimes not even realized personally.

Still, making errors generally hurts pride when efforts are made to do what is right all the time.

That does bring up the question of what is “right?” It easily varies from one person to another as everyone’s opinion is different.

Sometimes “right” boils down to personal conscience, what feels appropriate now and will be good in the future. When there’s a doubt about doing something, taking more time to consider the consequences is usually best.

However, waiting can be a mistake too, especially reflecting on a major land purchase opportunity 40 years ago. Situated next to other owned ranchland, it was a forced property sale during the 1980s depression. The lending firm had a private realtor handling negotiations with a set price.

An offer just slightly less than that listed was made to the realtor. He put the check in his billfold as collateral if the advertised amount was not met. That seemed like a “done deal” for a naïve cowboy starting in the ranching business.

Quite to the contrary, a call was received the next morning that another person paid the asking amount. “This was not an auction,” the realtor emphasized. “He paid the amount due on the bank note and is the property owner. Your uncashed check will be returned.”

That was a serious personal mistake never to be forgotten because that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity likely will never come again.

The amount offered versus selling price was very few dollars, especially considering how real estate has inflated. Time and transportation cost would have soon made up the difference.

Many mistakes are being made daily, but they are not of that large ramification. A couple other serious mistakes could have been prevented, but sadly will follow through for eternity.

As a journalist, numerous spelling and grammar errors are made, but of course the computer gets the blame.

Reminded of Proverbs 18:13: “A man who confesses and forsakes his mistakes, he gets another chance.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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