Sharing the wisdom of the Duck Commander

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By Becca Owsley

Along with many Americans, I absolutely adore the loveable rednecks of “Duck Dynasty.”

Part of the draw of this phenomenon is even though they are millionaire woodsmen, they are relatable.

Most families have an Uncle Si in some form or fashion and the families that don’t wish they did. Siblings pick on and pull pranks on each other all the time, too.

Sometimes, while laughing at their TV antics, I realize I’m laughing because I could totally see someone I know doing something like what I see on the show.

My affection for this family grew even more after reading patriarch Phil Robertson’s book “Happy, Happy, Happy.”

In the book, Robertson chronicles the family’s joys and struggles that got them to where they are today.

In case you are not familiar with the Robertsons of “Duck Dynasty” fame, here’s a little background information. Phil, an excellent hunter and woodsman, created a very popular duck call. After many years, the family’s duck call business turned into a multi-million dollar operation.

But even with all the riches, Phil still lives in a modest home and strives to live off the land. His son Willie now runs the business where his brothers, Uncle Si and other family friends make duck calls. That is when they aren’t out on a misadventure somewhere in the Louisiana woodlands.

After a few successful hunting videos, A&E approached the family about making a reality show, “Duck Dynasty.” The unique show chronicles hilarious family antics, hunting, devotion to family and faith.

Oh, and did I mention the massive beards they all have?

The show has become a hit and launched the Robertson family into fame they never imagined. It’s also made growing a beard popular again.

Phil’s book and keys to living a happy life stress a few lessons from his experience. 

1. Stuff doesn’t matter. Living a simple, laid-back life makes so much more sense than the hurried rush we find ourselves in from day to day. People are so tied to their cellphones they almost have withdrawal when away from them. Sometimes the quiet of nature can sooth you beyond all the electronics and other crazy things we think we need.

2. Family does matter. The Robertson family sticks together. In their way, the Robertsons are the most functional family on television. Despite the typical family dynamics and occasional arguments, they work together, play together and pray together. Phil said in the book his favorite part of the show is the end when the family gets together to eat a meal and thanks God for the blessings of the day.

3. If Phil can make it, anyone can. In the book, he is open and honest about his rough past and the mistakes he made. Some could have destroyed his family and his life. But after he gave up all that and turned his future over to God, life ran more smoothly. There still were obstacles and problems, but he faced them with a new outlook. And today, he’s successful far beyond his dreams. That’s pretty good from a man who started with nothing, almost drank and drugged himself to death and used to run wild in the woods. His marriage to his wife, Kay, also proves love can last past the hard times. 

4. It’s OK to have fun. If there’s one thing you can see in the show, the Robertsons have a lot of fun in whatever they do in life. Whether they are in a duck blind, working, playing games or shopping for mattresses, life is enjoyable.

5. Express your faith. The Robertsons openly express their Christian faith and people, despite network hesitation, still are watching the show. As the show grows in popularity, audiences see the Robertsons are definitely “not afraid of the gospel.”

6. It’s OK to be a little redneck. Come on, admit it. If you live in Kentucky, there’s a little bit of redneck you.

In the end, the Robertsons are “happy, happy, happy” and so are the people who get a kick out of their show each week. You have to admit, they must be doing something right.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.