It’s that time of the year, commonly known as the time of “lasts”. For those of us still in school, we become well accustomed to these lasts, and we welcome them. The last homework assignments, the last tests, and the last days of school before the sweet, sweet beginning of summer break. For some, these “lasts” may also carry a different meaning - the last time that we will step foot into our school as students, the last time we will hang out with our friends before going separate ways, and it may very well be the last time that some of us don the blue corduroy jacket as FFA members. What are some important “lasts” for you? What do they mean for your future?
I can think of a “last” happening very soon for myself. My final exams are next week, marking the last days of my freshman year of college. On the bright side, these final days count down to the time when I get to see some of the best dressed people in the State of Kansas wearing their blue corduroy as we kick off the 86th Kansas FFA Convention. There we will celebrate the last days of our year as Kansas FFA members, and my teammates and I will retire, as well as install the 2014-2015 State Officers.
As I think about stepping onto McCain auditorium’s stage to welcome Kansas FFA members in a few weeks, I think about the stage we all step onto when we take on a new task, or experience something new. Whether it’s going through high school, taking on a new job, or being a part of the FFA, we all have a part to play on that stage, and it’s beyond important that we perform to the best of our ability, for ourselves as well as the people watching.
No one knows exactly how long each scene will last on stage, but we all know that eventually the curtain must fall. The curtain signifies the end of a scene or act, and that the parts of the people on stage are done for a time. Now this may sound really philosophical at this point, but just like a play, we will all see the curtain fall at some point in our lives. For many around this time of the year, the curtain looks like the last day of school. And while I may not be able to see my curtain, I’ll know it when I hear the sound of the final gavel tap at convention.
If it’s anything that I’ve learned from my friends who have participated in plays and musicals, the curtain falling is nothing major. It happens so that the performance can move on, new scenes can develop, and new characters can be introduced. What are major, however, are our performances before the curtain falls. It is through our actions that we have an impact on those around us, and those that stand out and put forth the most effort and passion are the ones that are remembered. How will you be remembered? For your hard work? For putting in extra time to help out those around you? How can we all make sure that the impact that we make is remembered in a positive way?
At the end of the performance, an event called the “curtain call” occurs. A curtain call is when individuals return to the stage to be recognized by the audience for their performance. Think of it like a chapter banquet, or a graduation ceremony. This is the time that lets you be remembered for your passion, and the action that you took to achieve your goals. But who says that a curtain call is a short, temporary event? You might not be recognized for every single thing, but create an impact, and leave a legacy, that will set a standard for those behind you, letting your impact live on for years to come.
Kansas FFA, I’d like to give each and every one of you a curtain call. Being a part of this organization, I know that the fire that it can fuel resides in each of you, and the things that we all can accomplish together are immeasurable. But as you are recognized for what you accomplish, you are also challenged. I challenge all of you to not stop with what you’ve already done, and keep pushing ahead. I challenge you to never quit trying, and always seek improvement in yourself as well as in others. Play your part on the stage, and never quit performing, even if the curtain falls. The curtain always rises again, and lets everyone have their curtain call.
Kansas FFA, I am proud (and slightly sad) to say for the final time as your State Secretary, we out!