David, one of the participants in a session I recently led, responded to the query I had just asked the group ‘When did you last set a significant goal in your life without knowing how you were going to achieve it?’.
“In my life, I’ve experienced two incredibly humble days. My son’s birthday was the first one. The second was that remarkable day at the auction house. David replied to the question.
Eighty acres of their small Nebraskan family farm had been divided up and willed to distant relative generations before David was born. David was raised on this story because he comes from a long line of farmers, and it inspired him to restore the farm to its former glory.
David and his family were informed in 2011 that the valuable 80 acres would soon be sold at auction. David suddenly found himself at the ripe age of twenty-something, having to work out how to find an incredibly huge sum of money.
“Even though I had always wished to reclaim the land, when the time finally came, I wasn’t prepared.”
After two weeks of careful preparation, creative thinking, and restless nights, he and his father arrived at their “best number” and prepared to enter the auction because they knew in their hearts that they had to give it their all.
That evening, their hearts plummeted the moment they entered the Auction House. Over 200 farmers were there, most of whom had far larger farms and greater resources and could outbid him and his father by a wide margin.
The session was called to order by the auctioneer, who also requested the opening bid. After exhaling deeply, David and his father exchanged glances before making theirs. The auctioneer called for a second offer after acknowledging their initial bid.
The room went completely silent.
The auctioneer gave up after making numerous tries to get another bid. When they got back together, a second offer was once more requested: silence. The room was completely silent during each of their three breaks. The auctioneer was finally forced to accept David and his father’s winning bid. David and his father were shocked to see the family farm completed once more.
The story David told us was filled with emotion, and as he told it, the other participants and I leaned forward, hanging on his every word.
When David had finished telling his story, I asked him what he believed had happened that evening in the auction house. Without skipping a beat, he looked at me with even more intensity and replied, “Respect.”
The participants and I sat in silence for a long time while we considered David’s response, just like the farmers in the Auction House. The first thing that came to mind was, “There it is, another example of what’s good with our world; community.”
There are already enough people out there who collect stories about what’s wrong in the world, but I want to be a collector of stories like this one, stories that act as a constant reminder that there are many more positive things happening than negative ones.
There’s a proverb that goes, “If we believe it, we’ll see it.” I believe that when we concentrate on the positive aspects of the world, this is true for David and his farm as well as for us.
What do you think about this kind story of David? Have you encountered similar good people as these farmers in your life? Please let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to spread the news so that we can hear from more people.