Our Rural Roots

A New Year's Pledge

Blogger Meredith Bernard asks what if we all made a pledge to the sole purpose of bettering the world around us. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Meredith Bernard)

Our children have gotten involved in not one, not two but three 4-H clubs this past year. If you're going to go, you might as well go all in, right?

It started with our daughter in the horse club, then both siblings in the horse club, then both in the county community club and finally our son in the teen leadership club. I never had the opportunity to be a 4-Her, but watching them excel and learn so many valuable lessons makes me wish I had.

One of the tenants for any and every 4-H club centers around the 4-H pledge. Some of you probably have it memorized. It's taken us awhile, but we're finally getting it down. If you're not familiar, it goes like this: "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, my country and my world."

Every time I watch them recite it, with their hand over their heart, I can't help but think, "What if?" What if we all took this pledge on a regular basis. And, here's the kicker: What if we actually practiced it? In such a time as this, what if we made a pledge to greater loyalty for the greater good, larger service for our greater man and greater health derived from better living choices -- for the sole purpose of bettering the world around us?

As so many of us head into a new year making long lists of resolutions, what if we resolved to just be more kind. More forgiving. More aware of needs around us and more inclined to meet them with the resources we've been blessed with. That's a pledge I wish everyone would to take to heart.


Meredith Bernard contemplates kindness while writing and tending to farm and family from North Carolina. Follow her on social media @thisfarmwife, and visit her website at https://thisfarmwife.com/…