Re­la­tion­ships and Op­por­tu­ni­ties

Modern Pioneer - - From The Editor -

In this is­sue, Dana Benner’s “Pi­o­neer Penny-pinch­ing” (pg. 22) trig­gered my idea for this note. His ar­ti­cle dis­cusses var­i­ous ways to save money by think­ing out­side of the box, sav­ing scraps and bar­ter­ing, which is trad­ing your ser­vices or goods for some­one else’s ser­vices or goods. Benner’s ideas are great, no ques­tion.

I’d like to ex­pand on his list. If you treat peo­ple well and go out of your way to help them, re­la­tion­ships form. When re­la­tion­ships form, op­por­tu­ni­ties just sort of hap­pen.

Most of the op­por­tu­ni­ties I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced through re­la­tion­ships are hunt­ing re­lated. For ex­am­ple, I’ve traded archery equip­ment I no longer use to a landowner for per­mis­sion to hunt deer on his fam­ily’s cat­tle ranch. Like­wise, years ago, I gained per­mis­sion to hunt an­other large prop­erty by help­ing the landown­ers cre­ate food plots and man­age the land. My fa­ther, who sells recre­ational real estate, has more than once gained per­mis­sion for me and my sib­lings to hunt prop­erty by treat­ing clients as friends rather than just cus­tomers. The list of hunt­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties could go on.

On an­other oc­ca­sion, while my wife and I were camp­ing in Idaho with two of my rel­a­tives, we met an­other group camped across the meadow. They’d been camp­ing and hunt­ing in the area for ap­prox­i­mately 30 years. The group con­sisted of a hus­band and wife and their long­time friend. They were in­cred­i­bly kind to us, and we to them. A re­la­tion­ship formed, and one of my rel­a­tives cooked a meal for them one evening.

That group then of­fered to help us out any way they could. So, when the fridge in our camper quit work­ing, their of­fer came in handy. The cou­ple’s friend is an elec­tri­cian and he’d brought along some ba­sic tools. He in­spected our fridge’s elec­tri­cal work­ings and soon de­ter­mined the com­puter board ig­ni­tor wasn’t work­ing. He di­ag­nosed it for free, which saved us a pile of money.

That same group gave us toma­toes and zuc­chini, and helped us pump and fil­ter pond wa­ter into our camper’s fresh hold­ing tank—we were dry camp­ing with­out wa­ter or elec­tri­cal hookups—sav­ing us trips to town. My wife baked them a pan of brown­ies to ex­press our grat­i­tude. If we hadn’t taken time to build that friend­ship, our mi­nor prob­lems would’ve been ma­jor.

Now, get­ting some­thing in re­turn shouldn’t be your cen­tral mo­tive for es­tab­lish­ing friend­ships. We co­ex­ist on this planet, and life is mis­er­able for those who live by the men­tal­ity that ev­ery­one should keep to them­selves. When a prob­lem oc­curs, they must en­list pro­fes­sional ser­vices, which of­ten gets ex­pen­sive, rather than call a friend.

In­vest some ef­fort into cre­at­ing real and mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ships. Treat peo­ple well, and when you need a help­ing hand, some­one will be there for you.

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