Commentary – Blame the water, not the horse


Staff member
Pearl Lorentzen

In a discussion about a homeless shelter in Slave Lake, someone mentioned the old adage – ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ I’d already started this regional with the same adage.

I wonder about this adage. Why doesn’t the horse want to drink? When using the adage, people seem to blame the horse, but maybe the issue is the water.

I’m not sure how accurate this is, but I saw a meme recently saying that people should drink from the same stream as their horse brcause horses won’t drink tainted water. (Generally, people shouldn’t drink untreated water.)

Of course, the adage is really talking about people. This idea comes up time and time again. For example, whenever someone or an organization has an event or program and no one shows any interest.

This adage is anouther way of thinking strengths-based community development.

I came across this concept in the Rural Mental Health Network training. An email I received from RMH somes this up. It says, “Everyone has gifts. Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone cares about something and that passion is his or her motivation to act.”

This item is reprinted with permission from the High Prairie, AB, South Peace News. For the complete article, click HERE

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