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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

July 19, 2018 - 11:15am --

Sometimes we don’t have enough words to accurately describe what we mean or how we feel. Take for example the word pride. It’s tricky because it can be both a noun and a verb.

It can be about the resonance of feeling good about oneself, or it can be the indicator of the downfall of greatness. Pride is a tricky subject.

In the context of 4-H I think about pride in the positive. I want the youth of our 4-H programs to feel proud of the work they do. I want our volunteers to feel proud of the opportunities for youth that they produce.

I want people to look at the 4-H clover and feel a deep sense of accomplishment and pride but, I do all of this cautiously because, one false step can move us from the resonance of feeling good to the reality of our own downfall.

I have witnessed many times, when pride has gotten in the way of admitting a mistake. Pride is often what causes someone to lie, pride is often what causes some people to dig a hole so deep that they have trouble finding the light.

Yes, pride can be a good thing but, it can also be quite terrible.

It’s hard for any of us to admit when we are wrong but, the trigger for that entrenched attitude is often founded in our own pride. Only after our mistakes are discovered do we try to back step and alter reality.

As I consider my own mistakes and missteps I can clearly see that pride is what gets in the way of my self-improvement. The reality is however, that without a little pride self-improvement is unlikely.

We must find the balance, find pride in our actions but humble ourselves enough that we can accept opportunities for improvement.

As a 4-H program we must instill in our youth a belief that they can do great things but that their grown is never finished. We must prepare our youth to be life long learners.

This past week at our Hamilton County 4-H Community Fair, dozens of youth demonstrated their hard work and dedication.

They should feel proud of what they accomplished but, we must be champions for their continued education and inspire them to do more.