Rule #57: Believe in Cow Tipping
My father would tell me about the times when he was a teen in Nebraska he would go out into the fields with his friend and tip cows.
For those of you that have not heard of the ” cow tipping” this is the practice of sneaking into a farmer’s field and finding sleeping cows to push over. Its supposedly a lot of fun, especially when you have nothing else to do on a hot summer night in Nebraska.
He told me the story at least 20 times in his life, and I believe every word of it.
Yes, I know that cows do not sleep standing up, so to find a standing sleeping cow is impossible.
Yes, I know that cows are extremely sensitive to sight, sound and smell and can be startled easy, especially by a group of intoxicated teens.
Yes, I know physic studies have shown that is impossible to “tip” a cow with one person, and would require at least 4 strong guys to do this, if at all.
But I really liked my Dad’s story and I choose to accept it as fact. He told the story to make me happy and to let me know what his life was like as a child. Yes, maybe some of the story ( the cow, the tipping and the event) may have been expanded to make a better story, it is none the less very true. His truth.
In life people create themselves into the people they eventually become, some have great back stories, others have to create ones to cover up what is a less pleasant reality.
I talk to people all day long in my business and the thing I like most is the stories. Some tell me about their travels, others about their families and still others about their hobbies.., all of which are interesting. A lot of times I know I am listening to stories like my Dad’s cow tipping adventures, some part of which are absolutely true. A lot of times they are just great stories.
What I have learned is that everyone has a certain degree of BS ( keeping with the cow tipping theme) in there stories to help create the person they want to be, rather than the person that fate has made them. And as I see it my Dad’s cow tipping story made my Dad a little more interesting, a little more human…and I liked that he kept telling it.
I’ve said it many times in this blog, life is hard.
And we as a family, along with the people we interact with need to help each other become the people they want to be and tell the stories they need to tell. Part of loving someone is to recognize their BS when it is happening and pretend you don’t smell it. I know my Dad knew that I didn’t entirely believe his story, but he knew by me not challenging and ruining it I was showing him both love and respect.
I don’t think we can get past our failures in life without reinventing ourselves from time to time. Most people I know that our successful in life are always reinventing themselves and in part their stories.
Truth is extremely important, but if someone wants to tell me about their high school football adventures, the amazing fish they caught or how big of a tomato they grew- I’m all ears. I embrace these drifts from the harsh reality of life, and want to believe that our lives can be filled with happiness and success. I honestly like that reality more than the one we have live.
With my children I’ve heard lots of stories, many of which have drifted from the absolute truth. I always ask myself, if its important that I “call you out” on the story and make you tell the true story or to let it go. In 27 years of being a parent I’ve let thousands of stories take their own shape. Letting the little stuff go is an important part of survival, not every issue needs to be exposed and resolved. You need your own cow tipping stories.
I miss my Dad’s Cow tipping story, and I’m 100% in for anyone that wants to go in the middle of the night to some farmer’s field and push a couple over.