Image for Spread Joy and Give Thanks: All Year

Spread Joy and Give Thanks: All Year

Blog NE Royal Valley
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Ms. Kim Clark, agricultural education instructor/FFA advisor at Royal Valley

Thanksgiving has just passed, which is a time to remember all we should be thankful for. It is a time to reflect on the life we are living and what has gotten us to that point. What we are thankful for is special for each person, and there are numerous things we should give thanks for. For some of us, these would consist of the school bus for getting us to school, a healthy body to play sports, a mind that is ready to learn the next CDE, or our Ag Teacher that spends many hours outside of school helping us fill out proficiency applications or craft a resume. 

Along with all these, I am thankful for time with my family during the holidays, all in one place. School, FFA, and the rest of life’s activities get a little crazy sometimes and I appreciate the time to gather together at Thanksgiving. It is a time to make memories with the people I love while playing card games and filling our stomachs to the max with such amazing food. We have the capability to make the season great. But why do we only use this time of year to reflect on what we are thankful for? It is a feeling that can and should be felt all throughout the year.

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My Mom’s Family
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My Dad’s Family

This is similar as we enter the Christmas and holiday season; “the season of joy.” During this time of year, we give more gifts, and allow others to feel the love we have for them. We may tip extra at a restaurant, take flowers to the local nursing home, or donate clothes to a clothing drive. This puts a smile on the face of others which creates our own sense of joy; a warm feeling inside, where you know you are helping someone because you can see the happiness on their face. I was recently talking with one of my friends about the difference between joy and happiness. 

Joy is an inner feeling, and happiness is an outward expression

The reason we feel joy during the holidays is because we become content with ourselves and focus more on giving to others. If we stop spending time doubting our own self, we spend that time thinking of others and giving to them like I mentioned above. During other times of the year, we seem to lose that focus on others and lack the feeling of joy. The effect of that is we then rely on others to make us feel happy through the way they impact our external emotions, instead of controlling our own emotions all year long. 

So why do we wait till certain times of the year to feel certain emotions? We live life all year long, which is a perfectly good reason to be thankful and joyful. As we pass the holiday season and move on to the New Year, I challenge us all to continue being thankful for the life we live and cultivate joy in our everyday lives. A time of year should not define us. We have to make a difference in our own life all throughout the year. Make the choice each and every day to be joyous. Focus less on ourselves and more on how to help others. Being a light in the life of another person will ultimately make our own life more fulfilled.

With joy,

Karlie Albright

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Kansas FFA State President