Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Three G's

Earlier this evening I attended a supper for recipients of a scholarship that I was awarded as a senior in high school.  After congratulating us on receiving the scholarship and surviving our first few weeks of classes, the program director went on to talk about an alumni program that they were starting up to help with the transition from college to career.  She told us that we were selected as scholarship recipients because we had three traits that would help us not only in college, but also in our careers and our lives—the ‘Three G’s’ if you will.

Grit.  Gusto.  Gratitude.

As she said these three words, I realized that these are not only traits that Ellis Scholars should have, but also traits of every good FFA member.

grit noun 
courage and resolve; strength of character.

   If you’re like me, you’ve probably had times when you’ve wondered if it’s all worth it.  Maybe your calf died?  You didn’t do so well in a CDE?  Maybe you’ve stood up to give a speech and realized that you can’t remember it?  I’ve definitely had a few of these—like the time my computer crashed and I lost the State Degree application I had spent hours perfecting or the time I went to the South Central District Greenhand Conference and realized that I’d left all of the Greenhand Information Tests in my Manhattan dorm room.
   If we’re honest with ourselves, we all mess up.  We all make mistakes; we all face hard times. We all have problems.  The true test of character is how we react to them.  Do we blame others?  Try to cover it up? Act like it never happened?  Or do we take responsibility? Do our best to amend the problem? Do we persevere?  Do we push through?  Kansas FFA, be tough—push through—have grit.

gusto noun enjoyment or vigor in doing something; zest.

         I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my attitude can be a little lackluster.  It’s hard to be excited when you’re on that early morning bus headed to a CDE or when you’re in a chapter meeting that seems to be dragging on.  But what does our attitude say about us?  If we all tried a little harder to live life with a little more zest, how much more fun would the world be?
         We are students in the BEST student led organization in the BEST industry in the BEST country in the world.  We have a LOT to be excited about! So let’s do it.  Whether it’s offering encouragement to those around us, being a little more peppy in our meetings, AGvocating for the industry we love, or working harder for that CDE, let’s live our lives with a little more gusto.

gratitude noun the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

         Though this G is probably the easiest of the three, it is sometimes the one we take the most for granted.  We, as FFA members, are so incredibly blessed.  Our advisors are there for the early mornings, the late night practices, and the long road trips.  They take time from their families, hobbies, lives to invest in us.  When was the last time we told them thank you?
         What about our parents, school administration, bus drivers, and chapter officers?  The list of people that make our experiences possible goes on and on and on.  It’s amazing what a difference a simple ‘thank you’ can have.  Kansas FFA, go out there and show some gratitude.

Grit. Gusto. Gratitude.  I pledge today to make these ‘Three G’s’ the story of my everyday life… the challenge is here for you too.

Kansas FFA, live a life with GRIT, GUSTO, and GRATITUDE!