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To some, she was the best card player in town. To others, she was a mother, sister, daughter and friend. Some considered her a book worm, nanny, jam maker and animal lover. During her lifetime she served under a plethora of titles, but to me, she was simply Grandmother Hopie.

My great grandmother Hopie, instead of focusing on all of the titles given to or passed down to her, chose to simply live her life untitled. She set fancy and unique titles aside to selflessly serve all those she encountered. She invited others into her home, made food for church dinners and for those in need, gave of her resources, took her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren fishing, called friends and family nearly every day, smiled at everyone she came across and although she never knew it, the number of lives my great grandmother Hopie positively effected was countless.

Each of us has the capacity to serve in a similar manner and to live our lives untitled. Regardless of whom we are, where we come from, what we have done or where we are headed and no matter of the titles we hold or the awards we have won, each of us are responsible to serve with humility and reach out to our fellow members, teachers, advisors, those in need and each person we encounter. Our organization has the potential to reach more persons, do more good and change more lives than we could have ever imagined. Our potential is infinite!

As we begin National FFA Week, be aware of the potential we possess to serve and to reach out. Help in a soup kitchen, read a book to a young child, buy a friend’s lunch, write your agricultural education teacher or FFA advisor a handwritten thank you note, open the door for someone, let a stranger cut you in line, shake someone’s hand firmly, sit by the student who usually sits alone in class, e-mail an old friend, smile at everyone you encounter and then tell them all about FFA and the impact it has had on your life.

When we serve others, live our lives untitled, obtain humility and reach out to others, we are able to tap into that Infinite Potential that will ultimately change the lives around us and in return change our own.

Good luck, serve wholly, live untitled, realize our Infinite Potential and Happy National FFA Week!
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Riley Pagett is 2010-2011 National FFA President. He is a member of the Woodward FFA Chapter in Woodward, Oklahoma. He is studying agricultural communications and religion at Oklahoma State University.

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