Ever since I can remember, my father would advise me on life’s twists, turns, and challenges with a reference to a fictional Western TV character…portrayed by Clayton Moore.

My father would often say, “Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.”

Like many of you, I’ve had my fair share of weaving through life’s obstacles, like tumbleweeds on the Great Plains of Texas. Some tumbleweeds come streaking across your path with the rush of a strong wind, while others come straight at you…slowly, methodically. All avoidable, by just stepping aside, right? Easier than it sounds.

My father’s reference to the Lone Ranger was obviously a play on words, but as a wide-eyed eight year old it didn’t make much sense. At that age, all I could think about was the historic Six Gun Territory theme park in Ocala, Florida…the authentic feeling of the Wild West, the train ride, mining for gold, and the bigger-than-life gun fights in the streets. Was this what my father was talking about?

Fast forward to my 50s, and it all makes absolute sense now. These tumbleweeds are more complex, aggressively churning and tumbling…crisscrossing my path each and every day. That Wild West image is now replaced by a career, fatherhood, and homeownership. There are days that I’d give anything to ride the Sky Ride once more and forget all about these life challenges.

“Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger,” I could hear him say. Those six words would be etched in my mind forever. My own poor kids…for they too have heard the very same expression time and time again from me as I attempt to bring that 50s Western character to life. “Who?” they’d say!

In retrospect, what my father was trying to tell me is that we are all on the same stretch of frontier we call life. We are all faced with challenges and complexities in our daily routine…and, although we might feel helpless, we are never, ever really alone. We are each faced with tumbleweeds…and try as we might; we attempt to side-step them and take what would seem is the easier route. He’d say, “…go around them, and you’d miss the experience you’ll gain by addressing these challenges head on.”

As I write this insurance blog, it was not difficult to conjure up my father’s motto and relate it to the tumbleweeds plaguing our industry each and every day.

Homeowners and businesses across the state are being hit with rate increases…agents face angry and sometimes bewildered homeowners…the State of Florida is plagued with sinkhole claims and we all await a long-overdue hurricane…and so on, and so on. It’s a vicious circle…and one, huge tumbleweed!

The continuously-changing landscape of insurance, in a lot of ways, is a lot like that rolling brush…crisscrossing our paths, sometimes in the blink of an eye…and sometimes deliberately, meticulously slow. It changes direction; it increases speed and sometimes just sits still on the frontier of life waiting for a wind to blow. The course insurance takes, like a tumbleweed, is truly unavoidable. Just remember, no matter how fast or how slow it comes at you, we are all affected by its altering direction. There’s no side-stepping it. We’re all in this together, and, we’re never alone.

Thanks for the advice, Dad. I have the Lone Ranger along for the ride of my life. “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”