Once upon a time, not so very long ago, in the small, sun-baked town of Laredo, Texas, there was an old rancher named Hank and his tech-savvy grandson, Jake. Hank, a man of few words, had spent his life working on his vast ranch, riding horses, and tending to cattle, whereas Jake, fresh from college, was always glued to his smartphone, chatting on social media.
One blistering summer day, Hank decided to teach Jake the ropes of ranch life. He wanted to show Jake the value of hard work and the beauty of simple, non-digital communication. As they rode their horses across the sprawling fields, Hank pointed out various landmarks and shared stories from his youth, but Jake was only half-listening, distracted by his phone.
Frustrated, Hank decided it was time for a lesson. He sent Jake to the far end of the ranch to check on a water pump, giving him detailed verbal directions. Of course, Jake, relying on his phone, didn’t pay much attention and quickly got lost. After wandering around for hours under the scorching sun, Jake finally gave up and called his grandfather for help.
Hank, seeing an opportunity, told Jake he would give him directions using only the kind of landmarks he’d mentioned earlier that day: “Go past the old oak tree, turn left at the big rock shaped like a boot, and follow the trail until you see the pond shaped like Texas.” Jake, confused and exasperated, protested, “But Grandpa, I don’t remember any of those landmarks!”
There was a pause, and then Hank replied with a chuckle, “Well, son, maybe if you’d been using your eyes instead of your thumbs, you’d know your way around your own state!”
Jake, realizing the wisdom in his grandfather’s words, put away his phone, found his way back, and from that day on, paid more attention to the world around him than to the screen in front of him.
That day, Jake learned that in Texas, even the trails tell a story, but you’ll only hear them if you’re not texting!