Moose meets ‘real’ people
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My friends, I’ve failed you. Despite my best efforts, I have no story to tell you this week
I was going to ride a horse for the first time, but it rained.
I was going to go camping for the first time, but it rained.
I was going to fire a gun for the first time, but we went to the bar and I discovered “Cold Smoke.” Sorry, but at the time it seemed more important.
Anyway, I come to you hat in hand and apologize for having no adventure to share this week. Instead, I’d like to talk about you. Yes, you.
But first I’m going to talk about me. We’ll get to you in a bit. Be patient. I’m told it’s a virtue.
Three weeks ago, I was a recent college graduate, without a job, doing what all recently graduated and perpetually unemployed graduates do: drinking beer and grilling hamburgers. Somehow the conversation turned towards how bluntly honest I can be, and my friend Nick said something that I’ve wrestled with ever since.
“Moose, you’re the most real person I know.”
I knew it was a compliment, but I wasn’t sure what it meant or how he meant it. That is, I wasn’t sure until I moved to Montana and met all of you.
To be real, as I now understand it, is to have the ability to tell the truth in the face of danger. To have the capacity to know right from wrong, to understand what is truly important in life and fight for it. To care for a stranger as much or more than you care for yourself. That being said, I’m far too humble to agree with Nick and put myself on that high horse.
As stated earlier, I haven’t ridden a horse yet, and I’d like to start with the short ones. It seems safer.
However, I have no problem putting you on that pedestal.
I’ve been in Montana for one week, and I’ve already met more real people than I can name here. In regard to truth and honesty, you mean what you say and say what you mean. If I ask a straight question, I’ll get a straight answer. If I ask for an opinion or what someone thinks, I’ll get the truth as best that individual knows it.
In regard to kindness and goodwill, I’ve never received more. Last week, I stopped my truck on the side of the road to take some pictures of the mountains. My hazard lights were on, and within 10 minutes, three people had stopped to ask if I needed help. This does not happen where I’m from, and the fact that many of you will read this and say, “Of course, why wouldn’t you stop?” further illustrates my point.
You don’t have to try to be kind. You simply are.
Montana, you are the most real state I know. I can pay you no higher compliment.