Words, Words, Words

              With the
conclusion of 2014, I can say without regrets that it was my greatest year yet.
The conclusion of high school brought sorrow, but opened the door to
opportunity. Just beyond high school graduation, I was blessed with the
opportunity to serve the Kansas FFA Association. Then, attending Kansas State University
was a new path for me. New schedules, new priorities, and new relationships
developed. Among all of that, the biggest burden that I faced was the realization
and independence of purchasing Christmas gifts for friends and family. Christmas is
expensive. There is no way around it. This year my wallet took the biggest hit
it has ever taken during the Christmas Season. Though, this increase in
spending is because I have more people in my life that care about me. I
believed that the way to express my gratitude was show it by the dollars I
spent. However, the most valuable gift I received this holiday season cost no
money at all.
year, all 31 members of the Hadachek family participate in a secret Santa gift
exchange. Before each individual opens their gift, their “Santa” is required to
say something about the recipient of the gift. Most of the comments made are
jokes or funny memories, so I expected the same when it came my turn. I had
suggested that my Santa get me a heavy duty water bottle for my trip to South
Africa and many long walks on campus. Granted, I received the water bottle that
I asked for, but as you can guess, the water bottle isn’t what this story is
about. My uncle, a former State FFA Officer, had drawn my name. Before opening my
gift, he told me how proud he was of what I have accomplished, and it has been exciting
watching me grow.
underestimate the power we have with words, positive or negative. With every
new relationship I have formed, the conversations are what have strengthened
the bond. Through every interaction I have had with Kansas FFA members, it is
the stories that make each of them unique. There is a reason that leadership
conferences hire professional speakers. Those stories inspire us to exceed our
own expectations. Finally, words give purpose to the work that we do.
 “With great power comes great responsibility.”
 This principal holds true in every
situation. There are so many misinterpretations within the world today. Each
one of those misinterpretations start with a small error of words. We must be
cautious with comments towards others. Several sarcastic, rude, or unwary words
can ruin a person’s day and discourage them. Likewise, our words, when used
properly, can be a needed apology, and expression of gratitude, or a light in
someone’s dark world.
For your New Year’s resolution, I
leave you with a challenge. When you interact with friends, ensure that your
conversation is constructive. Gain courage to mend relationships that may be
broken. Before posting on social media, ponder over the meaning of the post in your drafts
for an hour, read it to your mother, and if the message is still necessary and
purposeful, post it. Tell your parents or guardians that you love them. Ask
your grandparents about their life. Read a book. We have so much to learn from
others, and words are the key to unlocking that potential.