Watch the April edition of Officer 2 Officer here.
“Balloons, tunes, & BBQ,” held in Bowling Green, Kentucky is one of my favorite summer festivals. It is incredible to watch as hundreds of hot air balloons take over the runway of Bowling Green’s airport. The bright colors of the balloons, the hot air balloon ride, and the grace of a hot air balloon in mid-flight all add to the excitement of the festival. Amid all the fun of the festival, there is a lot of science going on to make these hot air balloons take flight. Last week, my teammates and I spent some time reading a book called Habitudes: The Art of Connecting with Others by Dr. Tim Elmore. The more that I read about his image of “Hot Air Balloons”, the more I was reminded of this science concept! Dr. Elmore explains that “hot air balloons rise as the burner is released…but eventually they fall and need to be refilled. They must continue to be filled in order to go up. People are like this. They must be consistently encouraged in order to reach their highest potential.”
Encouragement doesn’t just happen by accident; it takes time, energy, and effort to develop. Especially during this season of the year, FFA members have SO MUCH going on. We have officer elections, career development events, tests, applications, jobs, sports, planning for summer, proms, graduations, and chapter banquets—and there are bound to be successes and disasters in each area. This is such an important time to offer encouragement to one another.
Dr. Elmore suggests that an easy way to practice encouraging fellow members, family, advisors, teammates, and friends is by giving compliments. Maybe we think that if we haven’t said anything “wrong,” then we don’t have to say anything positive. Maybe we feel that we already encourage others and don’t need to focus on improving. Whether you are in one of these categories or not, I challenge you to simply encourage someone today. How can we encourage those around us? We can compliment how well a member did in their Prepared Public Speaking event by rocking their questions, thank a teammate for staying extra late to help set up for an event, or help out your advisor by running an errand. Encouragement is unique for each of us, but is equally important and impactful. Check out Tim Elmore’s Habitudes image of “The Hot Air Balloon” for some more tips, tricks, and stories about how to encourage those around us.
More than anything, just be heartfelt and to the point. Choose to build someone up. Choose to inspire. Choose to encourage.
Eastern Region Vice President