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Shining a light
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

I have seen a graphic several times recently that states:

When a flashlight grows dim or quits working,

Do you just throw it away?

Of course not. You change the batteries.

When a person messes up or finds themselves in a dark place,

Do you cast them aside?

Of course not. You help them change their batteries.

Some need AA … attention and affection;

Some need AAA … attention, affection, and acceptance;

Some need C … Compassion;

Some need D … Direction. 

And if they still don’t seem to shine; simply sit with them quietly and share your light.

I really appreciate this message on many levels. I have experienced those times when my own light feels pretty dim and I am grateful for those who shared a change of perspective with me or simply sat with me in the dusk.

At other times, I recognize that dark place in others and hope that I have shared a bit of sunlight of my own with them.

One of the key components of 4-H is a sense of belonging. From club leaders to fellow 4-H members, we work to share a sense of community, kindness, and respect to one another. It doesn’t mean that we always get along or agree but that we can empathize with another person.

I also know that it is important for each of us to recharge our batteries in order to share our light with others. That may mean curling up with a good book, an afternoon of laughter with friends, or time in nature. Whatever helps you to recharge, I hope that you will make time for that and help those around you to recognize the need and time for a recharge.

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.