30 May


By Kevin Holten

Do you have credibility? I hope so.

It’s something that is very much in demand these days with a presidential election coming up and with coronavirus statistics, information and misinformation flying at us from every direction.

Mr. Dictionary says that credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in. That’s a big demand isn’t it? Being both trusted and believed in? You might be the most trustworthy person in the world and still not be believed in.

On April 23rd, the National Football League will hold its annual player’s draft. That’s when professional football teams will evaluate collegiate football flesh and invest in it.

Some years ago there was an offensive tackle from the University of Mississippi who was projected to be one of the top three players drafted. Instead he fell to number 13 simply because, right before the draft, someone posted a video of him smoking pot using a gas mask.

The video effectively brought into question the player’s credibility, and the result was a draft free fall, where he dropped from one of the top three to be chosen, down to number 13, resulting in a loss of income of about, according to most estimates, eight million dollars. That gives you some idea of how much credibility is worth.

Growing up in North Dakota, I sensed that farmers and ranchers possessed a real sensitivity when it came to sniffing out the credibility of traveling salesmen. In fact, their assumption was that most of what flowed from a salesman’s mouth was assumed to be unbelievable unless proven otherwise.

Part of that might have stemmed from the fact that they themselves said less in a lifetime than a traveling salesman said in five minutes. And that initiated a sense of mistrust, simply because they couldn’t quite understand how anyone could gab that much, and all of it still be the truth.

Whatever the case, in North Dakota and bordering states, credibility is a most valued commodity. You see, North Dakota is a no B.S. zone.

When I was in college one year, during Thanksgiving break, I was invited to visit the home of a roommate in Spokane, WA. While there my friend’s brother said, in reference to me, that I don’t say much, but when I do speak it means something”. I think that’s true of almost any young man raised in rural North Dakota. It’s an honor and a reflection of our upbringing.

I am currently reading a book entitled, HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK. It says that more gold has been mined from the thoughts of man than has ever been taken from the earth. And that a human mind with the ability to think well is like a diamond mine that never runs out.

To be a good thinker you must regularly put yourself in the right place to think. In other words, you must regularly go to your thinking place.

In North Dakota, that place might be sitting on a tractor or combine, the back of a horse rounding up cattle in the Badlands or behind the wheel of an automobile, driving down the highway. We have a lot of places that are built-in thinking places.

And why is that important? It’s because good thinking is the foundation for good, honest actions. And good honest actions bring about much credibility.

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