To Quote JR(R)


Don’t be so glum Lucy; rich folks are always happy. ~ J.R. Ewing

I’ve never seen the TV show Dallas. I don’t suppose the characters resembled the average Texan any more than Mary Tyler Moore was typical of Minnesotans. Certainly this J.R quote wouldn’t make Quote of the Day.

Although I’m in Texas, I hadn’t given any thought to the life  philosophies of J.R. Ewing until now. After reading a few tonight, I think that’s for the best.

I’ve been thinking about a different J.R. –  J.R.R. Tolkien. In part, because, like a Hobbit, I’ve had too many second suppers of late. But mostly because I’ve been amazed at how little it takes to make the world a merrier place.

This is a tough industry. The work is demanding. The hours are long. The money is good, but it comes at a price. Everyone spends at least half of the year away from their family and friends.

The guys on a rig don’t just have to work together, they live together. They share spaces that aren’t even as nice as most of today’s dorms. Up to 12 men live in these trailers.

Sometimes we log someone out who doesn’t come back in. Sometimes that’s because they’ve just walked away. Sometimes it’s because they’ve gotten into trouble in town.

So I guess I’m still surprised at how appreciative these pretty tough guys are when you smile, or give them a homemade brownie after a hard day, or a bag of chips or a cup of coffee for a long drive home.

That’s what made me think of Tolkien.

If you’ve read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, you know that amidst all the perils and danger, there’s always food and song and comradeship and cheer.

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above the hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.  ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

I don’t think the important part of the simple job of gate guarding is logging names and plates – of course, some companies might disagree.

I think the important part is the same as with most any job: doing the work we’re called to do in a way that adds a bit of kindness or merriment or cheer to the lives of those around us.

And of course, for that reason, I try to hold off on the singing. 😉