This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Colorado Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference in Colorado Springs, CO (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Colorado-Farm-Bureau-Young-Farmers-Ranchers/111555478866390). For someone like me who has not always been involved in ranching or even lived in the area that we ranch, it was very invigorating. I had the chance to connect with many other young members of agriculture and even make some new friends (that happen to live 20 miles from our ranch). If I had not signed up to get involved, I would not have had the chance to interact, network and create some great new relationships.
Anyway, what does this have to do with Science Fiction? At our hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, there was another convention taking place over the weekend called the COSINE Convention for Science Fiction. Needless to say, there is a pretty big divide between a bunch of Farm and Ranch folks and people wearing costumes like this one!
That led me ask her about her conference and tell her about ours. It was not a ground breaking, earth shattering conversation, but it did give us the chance to interact, listen and cordially wish the other a "good convention". This simple interaction gave me a brief moment of pause and reflection dominated by one thought. Whatever you do, do it with passion and exuberance. Follow your dreams and be who you want to be. Many of the COSINE attendees may have been different than me but were probably very prolific and successful in their endeavors as writers, editors, artists etc... They may be world's away (excuse the pun) in their background, interests and thoughts, but they are enjoying their life and living it to the fullest among other like minded enthusiasts exactly as I was. There are all sorts of people in our world with a multitude of interests and the only way to bridge America's Great Divide is to represent your group with respect and a good attitude while showing the same courtesy to those who are different from you. After all, I'm guessing they still eat our products too and I don't need to alienate them from America's Young Farmers and Ranchers.
And, BTW, thanks for making our lives more enjoyable through your passions with products like Transformers, SpiderMan, BatMan, Harry Potter, The Matrix and the other Sci-Fi hits. We'll keep passionately tending to the land and our animals so you have something to eat!