In The News
Be the plot twist in your own story! I saw this on a shirt recently and it resonated with me. Life doesn’t always go the way we want or expect it to. Circumstances change, people don’t stay the same, our outlooks evolve.
Plot twists catch us off guard; they offer unusual and unexpected situations! All great stories have a plot twist and so does life. Often the plot twist offers a view that we could never have imagined. I left banking after 20 years – not by my own choice – and that plot twist was devastating at the time. However, if I hadn’t been forced to make a career change, I would never have ended up in a job that I love with opportunities to make an impact on youth.
During the 4-H Club Day in February, 4-H youth will have an opportunity to participate in Life Skills Judging. They are presented with a set of age-appropriate problems or activities and asked to choose the best answer. This is not about getting all the answers right but, much more importantly, learning to critically evaluate a situation and decide on the best way to move forward.
Project learning for 4-H is all about Learning by Doing and the model we use encourages youth to DO an activity (Experience), SHARE and PROCESS what they learned, then APPLY that to other areas of life. Each of these pieces of project learning provides a framework for decision-making and confidence to take on the next task or event.
Our 4-H Pledge states “I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service, and my HEALTH to better living for my club, my community, and my world”. Giving youth the opportunity to practice decision making for when a plot twist comes along, in addition to communication skills for sharing the impacts of a plot twist with family or friends is an important step to helping them navigate successfully.
My husband and I have traveled together for over 30 years and, while we always arrive at our destination, we don’t always know where we are. These travel plot twists have (mostly) kept us laughing as we adventure together. Having the ability to make good decisions with the circumstances at hand allows us to “roll with the punches”. We have visited some fun things and seem incredible sights because we were open to the plot twist and being engaged in whatever circumstances life presented us.
~Michelle Beran, 4-H and Youth Development Agent