Around the different FFA breakfast, lunch and dinner tables I have had the privilege of eating at, I have learned many valuable lessons.
Never Be Late For Breakfast!
On our very first official breakfast as State Officers the girls and I thought that we had everything planned out and we had everything under control, but we were wrong. We should up “on time” for breakfast, but we misunderstood the directions. We actually had showed up late and did not make a good first impression to say the least, when we also walked in with our Starbucks(Oops). We learned our lesson and made sure we were there before the guys for almost every meal from then on out. Breakfast is crucial for starting your day off right and if you are late for breakfast then it is probably because you did not plan or allow yourself enough time. We should read carefully, plan ahead, and give ourselves enough time to be prompt. This creates a less hectic atmosphere and ultimately a smoother morning!
Not Everyone Enjoys Sweet Tea.
Certain tables you find yourself at may be different from your usual culture. In the South, we enjoy our sweet tea, but in Indiana it is almost impossible to find sweet tea unless you eat at Steak and Shake every night (which is usual for National Convention). This lesson is valuable because we have to be open-minded about different social scenes and cultures. Not everyone lives life how we live. We all have our own quirks and habits. Let’s embrace these and see from other’s perspectives!
Food Should Not Be Taken For Granted.
Take the time to appreciate where your food comes from and the hard work that is put into growing it. Food does not appear magically at the grocery store. Real people who work hard to provide us with food daily so we are able to grow and prosper. We have this advantage in America where we are blessed with practically any kind of food we could imagine and an abundance of it. Go out and shell peas or shuck corn! Get your hands on what food is like before it reaches your plate.
Fight For Your Values.
FFA taught me that it is important to stick to your values. If you do not feel comfortable doing something that goes against values than you do not have to do it. You do not have to worry about offending someone if your values are on the line if you politely explain your reasoning for not participating. It can be something as simple as choosing to eat trail mix and salad over a hamburger and chips or something as serious as choosing not to give into peer pressure when it seems as if everyone else is. Do not be afraid to have your opinion and do not be afraid to protect it! “If you don’t stick to your values when they are being tested then they are not values-they are hobbies.”
A Way To A Guy’s Heart Is With Food.
Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get To Work.
FFA taught me that sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. To this day, I have never seen any FFA member roll up their FFA jackets sleeves. I am not sure if it is even legal in the FFA world, but I got an idea from this. He had a job and he knew it had to be done. He rolled up his sleeves and got to work to get something accomplished, even if he was just eating.
Be A Mentor.
At this FFA lunch, I realized that no matter what you are doing or where you are going, there is always going to be someone who is younger than you or someone who is watching you. Choose to be an influence to the people who surround you. It is a beautiful concept when you imagine all of the lives that could be affected by your motives and actions. Take the time to hang out with all kinds of all ages and dedicate yourself to being a mentor and positive influence.
Live A Little.
It is perfectly acceptable to treat yourself every now and then! It is even good for your health to take breaks and to recuperate. We cannot live without any enjoyment (or desserts) in our lives or we will be miserable. Just remember that if you work hard and have your sweet treats in moderation then they will be even more desirable!
It Truly Is The Little Things
And my last FFA Dinner life lesson is that throughout life we are going to find ourselves in the midst of chaos and stressful situations, but at the end of the day, it is the simplest of things that can completely transform your entire attitude and atmosphere. When you are able to sit down at the table with the friends and family that you love it becomes obvious just how blessed one is to be among them. There were many times when I just had to sit back and watch everyone. I enjoy watching them laugh and squeal and pick at one another. Whether we were discussing a critical upcoming matter or playing the “sugar game”, we seemed to always find the time to enjoy each other’s company. It is the simple joys of being surrounded by those who mean the world to you. A simple moment can be an extraordinary moment if you allow it.