Kansas FFA Blog

Striking A Cord

As tempting as it is to write something political about our recent elections (it isn’t at all) I think I’ll completely avoid that topic in this little outpouring of thought. Instead, I’ll stick to something else in the news. Recently, renowned songwriter Leonard Cohen passed away. Like most people, I remember him best by the often covered “Hallelujah”, a song that countless people would say had “struck a chord” with them. In fact, the song itself mentions striking a chord in the verse “I heard there was a secret chord, that David played and it pleased the Lord”. But what exactly does it mean to strike a chord?

As a 5-year-old, Chris Ledoux music struck a chord with me because I was going to be a rodeo hero when I grew up and Chris Ledoux understood what I wanted in life. As a 6th grader, I remember really liking Nickelback (I regret this) because I was really frustrated with a lot of 6th grade things. Even today I’ll jam out to Willie Nelson when I’m feeling lonesome. When we think about music, striking a chord must be that moment when a lyric, instrumental, or song’s tone hit you right to the core. It’s that moment when you can immediately pull a memory or a feeling and make a connection to what you’ve just heard. All of the sudden, that song has so much more meaning to you. It’s relevant to your life. You feel connected to it and the unique vulnerability you share creates a strong link back to that song.

When we think about our time and position as leaders, that’s really relevant to us in two ways. The idea of striking a chord can really apply to how we advocate for agriculture. Are we sharing the things people are passionate about in order to help them understand agriculture? District Officers might remember the “Listen, Ask, Share” technique Clara and Grace talked about at District Officers Conference. In essence, we have to find what strikes a chord with consumers. That is, we have to determine their core values and show them that we do what we do because we share those same values.

We can also strike a chord with people on a more personal note. By sharing our stories and acting as transparent, motivated leaders, we can strike a chord with those who have faced similar issues. When someone sees that we’ve faced similar things in our lives, they’re less likely to feel so alone in their struggle. All we have to do is be welcoming enough to help those people and willing to share our stories in the first place. We all face difficulties, but if we can use those to grow and help others, then striking a chord with someone may just mean making a truly positive impact in their lives.




Jacob Grinstead, Kansas FFA Reporter


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