They say that, “All Good Things Must Come to an End.” As I sit here, reading my Happy Grams and reflecting on the past week, I can’t help but think of all the memories made at the OKFFA Alumni Leadership Camp. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to witness so many incredible stories and work with so many Amazing SGLs, staff, and teammates. In my time, I’ve seen lives positively changed over a matter of days. I heard the message of YOGOWYPI and it provided me with a new Confidence in Life. I Lit off some Fireworks in a workshop to illustrate that Every person’s life was called to have an Explosive Impact on our World. I’ve seen Courage Develop right before my very eyes as members Conquered their Fears on the Ropes Course. Words can’t describe everything at Alumni Camp, because sometimes the greatest moments ever witnessed can never be expressed by our pen or speech, but felt by the Instant Power of the Experience. As my time at camp comes to a close, my only hope is that a difference was made and a life was Impacted. FFA members, You are an Inspiration! You are More than a Member! You are the Change this World needs! Never stop believing in your impact, because if this guy can make it, then anyone can 🙂 Thank you Oklahoma FFA for the opportunity to be part of your lives! It was a Ride to Remember! 🙂 Stay in Touch! And God Bless!
“Keep the Smile on Your Face and a Love in Your Heart.”
“Learning Leadership From Chicken Nuggets”
The other day a friend of mine challenged me to try to do something random, to get out of the norm, to dare to be different, and break through the monotony of everyday life. This challenge has caused me to really focus and pay attention to the little things in life, it’s made me become more aware of my surroundings and the people around me. So, with this challenge in mind, I visited Burger King for lunch on the road this past week, I don’t normally like going through the drive thru, because you don’t get to meet as many people as you do inside. When I walked into Burger King, there were indeed A LOT of people there, standing in 3 lines waiting for there orders to be taken, it was definitely Lunch rush hour haha. I hopped in line, waiting for my order to be taken, as I waited, I couldn’t help but notice a mom and her younger son ordering in the front, the boy was pleading for a chicken nugget kids meal, but the Mom said no. Having to explain, she looked at her 6- year old son and said, “Honey, those chicken nuggets don’t have the real chicken in it, it’s artificial stuff. You want the Real stuff, because it can help grow stronger and it will be healthier for you.” Now, as I heard this conversation, I thought, “Wow, this mom just made a great point.” Not only in terms of setting healthy eating habits for her son, but also from a leadership perspective. You see, a lot of times in life, we settle for the artificial stuff, sometimes we have artificial chocolate artificial Attitudes, artificial friends, and sadly, many times we can tend to live artificial lives. But just like the mom at Burger King, I don’t want to settle for the imitations. I want the Real Stuff. We weren’t meant to be Artificial, we were meant to be Authentic. We must choose to be Real.
So, 3 things we can learn:
1). Artificial things may look better, but Authenticity is what counts.
2). When we are Real with ourselves, we become Real with others.
3). When we choose to be real, we will grow into better individuals and healthier leaders. #Food4Thought
Arlington, it’s one of the biggest cemeteries in the world, not to mention one of the most moving. It’s known as the final resting place for nearly 300,000 service men and counting. It is where the price of our freedom is perhaps the most obvious. The graves are well marked, the markers standing as if to create the final military formation. The lines perfect in every direction. However, Arlington is more than just a cemetery; it’s a hallowed ground, honoring the many men and women who have given their lives for the sake of their country.
Within the business of life, it’s easy to take our freedom for granted, but to a schoolteacher named Martha Cathren it’s a priority. On the first day of school at Joe .T. Robinson High in Little Rock, AR, students walked into Mrs. Cathren’s classroom expecting a typical first day of school. But to their surprise they found Mrs. Cathren’s classroom empty, not one desk in sight. One puzzled student asked, “Mrs. Cathren, where are the desks?” Mrs. Cathren replied and said, “You get a desk if you can tell how you can earn it.” One student said, “Mrs. Cathren, is it by making good grades that we get a desk in your class?” Mrs. Cathren replied saying, “You ought to make good grades in my class, but that won’t earn you a desk in my class?”
Another student said, “Is it by being on our best behavior in your class?” Mrs. Cathren then said, “You will behave in my class, but that won’t earn you a desk either!” All day long class after class kept asking, but no one could come up with the right answer, at the end of school, Mrs. Cathren invited all of her students into her classroom and said, “Since no one has been able to figure it out, I’ll tell you.” Martha opened the door of her classroom and in walked 27 veterans, some wearing uniforms from years gone by, but each one carrying a school desk.
As they carefully and quietly arranged the desks in neat rows, Martha said, “You don’t have to earn your desk…because these brave men already did. They along with thousands of others went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers, so we could have the freedom we have today. No one charged you for your desk, but it wasn’t really free. These men bought it for you.
My friends, the greatest lesson we can ever learn is the principle of Living to Serve. The next time you’re looking for an example of this lesson, think about Gettysburg, think about Vietnam, think about Arlington, but most of all, think about your desk and the price it cost. Just remember, that while All gave some, some gave All.
“Devastating!” This is the word that so many reporters, journalists, and media outlets all over the country have used to describe the massive Tornado that ripped through the Heart of Oklahoma this past week. It’s hard to imagine the anguish, heartache, and sorrow that so many Oklahoma families have been feeling. Through this turmoil and tragedy it seemed to many people that all hope was lost, however, there is light among the darkness. People from all over our country have come together and assisted with the Tornado relief efforts, reaching out with helping hands and are still volunteering as we speak. It has truly been an amazing thing to hear of so many individuals giving of their time, effort, and schedules to make a difference in the lives of those who have been hurting. As you can see, Service is being displayed on a daily basis and I believe that the ability to make a difference in someone’s life starts within each of our hearts. We must choose to serve. We must choose to give. We must choose to lead and we must choose to reach out to others. In our society today, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about our own good rather than the good of others. And this is totally natural, because our human nature has a tendency to be selfish, but when we choose to make a difference, to care about others more than ourselves, to live for an impact and not just our own individualism, we can have a more meaningful life because we are living for the service of others. You see, Leadership doesn’t begin in the conversation, it starts with You and Me. It’s all about changing the Me to We. It is indeed very inspiring to hear so many stories from Moore, Oklahoma about people who are reaching out and giving unselfishly. Always remember that great moments are born from great opportunities. Ask yourself, “How can reach out to those who are hurting in my school, community, or even my world?” There are plenty of opportunities to go out and make a difference, but the question is, are we willing to reach out to others with these helping hands? Choose to Lead. Choose to Impact. Choose to Serve.