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michelle beran
Michelle Beran

There is a lot going on in our world right now and this is probably the most serious topic you will ever hear me address. I have been quiet about the things on my heart because I was afraid my words were not “right enough,” so please know that my words come from a place of love and compassion for all those around me.

My heart aches.

My heart aches for the turmoil in our households, our communities and our world.

My heart aches for members of our communities that feel marginalized, distrusted and not valued.

My heart aches for my nephew (yep D – we’ll keep you forever) and the thought that he might fear for his job, his safety, his life because of his skin color.

My heart aches that ANY 4-H member in my contact might feel not valued, not heard, not recognized for their distinct perspective.

My heart aches for law enforcement officers who do the right thing and stand up for justice, and display compassion for their communities.

My heart aches for those who feel that violence is the only way to be seen and heard.

My heart aches for those blamed for the violence of others.

My heart aches for business owners whose means of providing a living for their own families -- and employment for those who need it most -- may be damaged.

My heart aches for too many people of color who have been thrown aside.

As a mom, I hate that I had to raise my daughter to not go places by herself because it wasn’t safe. My heart aches for the mommas of color who have to teach this to their children at a much deeper level.

My faith tells me to “love my neighbor” but it doesn’t allow me to pick and choose who those neighbors are. I know that my words only scratch the surface but know that they are from my heart and in love for my neighbors.

My heart aches for all of us who want to help, want to listen, want to make the world better...but don’t know how.

Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness.

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.