Here’s a video of a guy knocking down a grain silo with a sledge hammer. I love this video because it reminds me of simpler times where we watched idle videos on the internet all day instead of the staring in abject horror at the endless timeline. A single man knocking down a silo, what a metaphor for our current times! The silo falling also reminds me of an old Texan-ism by former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn:
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it took a carpenter to build it.
Now we are barn-less. Silo-less. Wandering open pastures for the next watering hole.
Wherever you end up I want to offer an idea; you are the value. Your ideas, your insights, your compassion, your ability to help someone in need, your dumb puns and dank memes; that’s what’s valuable. This situation has me thinking hard about where I’m distributing my contributions, where I’m adding value (modest as it may be), and who is benefitting.
Whether or not you choose to leave the grounds of the broken barn —I understand it’s a difficult decision— I have two hopes. First, I hope you’re pouring value into yourself. Broadcast yourself (or others) and your contributions (or others) so that when the walls fall down again you are findable. Pour a foundation for your own silo or home. Second, I hope you’re somewhere that values your value. Somewhere where the stars, hearts, and thumbs up feel like authentic relationships. Give your contributions to someone or some place that appreciates them. In Biblical agrarian parlance, “Cast not your pearls before swine.”
While the silo collapsing is disruptive to the day-to-day routine, it feels like a good opportunity to break up with old habits. A break from those bad, toxic, or negative behaviors that the old barn normalized. An opportunity for reinvention. This is something I’m learning msyelf. You don’t have to be the same old jackass kicking against the sheet metal walls of the old barn, which made the old barn an unsufferable place to be and ultimately why it fell. You can be a carpenter this time around.