Porch Swing Point of View: Pig or Farmer? (June 11)


Nothing gives a pig more joy than to splash and roll about in a bog of mud.  Seemingly relishing the opportunity to cover themselves in grime, pigs frolic and oink with delight while covered in a layer of moist dirt.  Just look at any pig pen and you’ll find a foul mess of filth filled with particularly happy pigs. 

 I believe you will agree, at times life can be a lot like those pig sties, full of muck and mess.  So much ugliness mars our life, we can hardly begin to list it.  Hatred and abuse, addiction and jealousy, poverty and greed.  We encounter a myriad of mud pits daily in the world in which we live.  And where there is mud, there are pigs.  And where there are messes in our lives, there are three types of people.

The first group of people are not unlike the pigs.  This set seems to delight in their own misery and the misery of others.  They gossip, eavesdrop, slander, and spread the mud of life, hoping to splash it on as many other people as possible.  “Misery loves company.”  Making no effort to reform, these people find themselves mired deep in the muck and are content to remain there.  Thankfully, these folks are few, but can have disastrous effects. 

Secondly, you will find those people who try desperately to keep the mud off themselves.  Avoidance is the first priority and they go to great lengths to ensure no drop of dirt will touch them.  But if it should, they’ll be quick to wash it off and even quicker to deny it was ever there.  These folks may lie, cheat, and steal to protect their egos and reputation, no matter how muddy their past, and are as equally damaging to society as the first group.

 Finally, though, you’ll find a set of people I’d dub the “farmers.”  Despite their varied occupations, these are the people willing to get dirty in order to clean up the mud.  Any farmer knows cleaning animal stalls or pig pens is a thankless task and will soon need repeated.  Still, they work tirelessly to shovel away the filth.  So, too, do this last group of people.  They work in small ways and great, in public and private, win awards or receive no recognition at all, but they exist in scores.  They exist to make our world a little less messy, a bit more pleasant, and to spread goodness to their fellow man. 

I hope you belong to that third group, as I myself strive to belong as well.  It isn’t easy work and it is certainly messy at times, but the rewards are tenfold.  I challenge you to put a shine on the world around you, do your part, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is.  From my porch swing to yours, I wish you only the very best!

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