Image for When Life Gives You Lemons Make Grape Juice.

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Grape Juice.


 “When life gives you lemons, make grape juice. Then sit back and watch as the world wonders how you did it.” 

Why turn lemons into grape juice? Why don’t we just try lemonade? Sometimes the obvious choice (in this case lemonade) isn’t what needs to happen. In life many of us underestimate ourselves and others, trying to get lemonade. We are so focused on what we cannot do that we are never focused on possibilities. We try the traditional cut and dry lemonade out of the lemons we have been dealt and never think, what else can I do with this? Can I possibly make grape juice?

“Grape juice?” you may ask. Well, yes, sometimes what you think are the “lemons” of life are actually “grapes”. How do we tell the difference between lemons and grapes? My lemonade story starts in the fourth grade. I was a very tall girl, so of course I had to join the basketball team. My grandpa was a state basketball champion and so this nine year old was bound and determined to follow in his footsteps. The learning curve was that height and overall hand eye coordination were two different things. Saddened by my sporting mishaps, I thought I would never have friends or fun. Had I failed my team, my friends, and even my family? Of course as a dramatic fourth grade girl it was hard to realize just how much more there is to life than one activity. It was possible to find something to be passionate about and do well in. Maybe shooting a ball through a hoop was difficult, but talent comes in many forms. For me talent was something I thought I would never have, until I joined FFA. Public speaking and advocation became a huge passion. There are a lot of people in this world, a great many of which have no agricultural knowledge or background. Through my speaking skills, I could relate and communicate with people of all backgrounds. 

The only reason I was in basketball was to fit in. The reason I was in FFA was because I was passionate about it. I thought that I had been given lemons like all the other kids and therefore, wanted to make lemonade like the other kids. FFA is full of like minded and yet amazingly diverse individuals with their own talents, and “grapes”. From livestock judging to entomology, there is a place for everyone to find their grapes. However, to unlock your grapes, you have to quit chasing lemons.

If every one of us makes lemonade out of lemons then life is flavorless. In all aspects of our lives there are things we do to hide our true selves. We as humans find it easy to try fitting into the crowd instead of taking the risk to be different. But when we really evaluate ourselves, sometimes we realize we do not get lemons from life. Sometimes we get grapes. But we are in such a hurry to produce lemonade we miss the chance to use our grapes for the betterment of our world. Where in life are you trying to make lemonade when you should be making grape juice? The world needs more of your talent, opinions, hard work, and uniqueness. The world needs more grape juice.

Jocelyn Dvorak


State Treasurer