BELLE GLADE, Fla. – Life is emotional. The loss of a loved one, finding the love of your life, meeting your children for the first time, all are examples of incredible emotional extremes the average human may come across within a few year’s time.
What about making a new friend, failing an exam, or realizing that you didn’t get accepted to your dream school that generations of your family have attended? Again, all are emotions that any youth may come across.
Emotions are normal, however, vastly misunderstood in most situations. According to Oscar Wilde, we can, in fact, harness our emotions and better use them for our gain and success.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wilde
To begin with, it is important to understand that every human being experiences emotion differently. Likewise, emotions look different across all people. For example, there have been moments that I have been watching a movie and the person beside me begins to tear up, meanwhile, I remained at my emotional baseline. Likewise, there are have been moments when I find a joke HILARIOUS, while the person beside me does not even chuckle. Do any of those situations indicate that there is something wrong with the other? Absolutely not.
However, to a youth learning to navigate their way through life, they may begin to think they are weird, unloved, uncared for, or there is something wrong them. As caring, trusted adults, it is important to explain that there is, in fact, nothing “wrong” with them and that we all experience emotion differently…and that is 100% okay. Understanding emotion is necessary, and to help I have created “Myths versus Facts When Talking About Emotions” to help the community we’re called to serve about this very topic.
As a 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent serving the Palm Beach County community, I consider it my goal for youth in our Palm Beach County 4-H Program to embark into adulthood the best prepared they can be, large in part by understanding:
- Everyone experiences emotion. It does not mean you are weak, or fragile.
- Emotions are temporary. To enforce this concept, I encourage youth to think of the most recent time they visited their favorite place and had a great experience. I then ask them to recall the ending of that day. Well, the same way exciting days come to end, rough days do too.
- You can learn to better identify an emotion, and control your reaction. All can be achieved through growth in your understanding of mindfulness and your emotional intelligence!
- There is always someone who thinks of, cares for, and loves us. Even if you don’t see it or feel it, I promise you it’s true! There is always a teacher, friend, or mentor that is thinking of you.
- You can be happy with a little, or miserable with a lot. The more of something you have does not necessarily mean the happier you are going to be.
Much like I have been called to serve the community of Palm Beach County, 4-H Professionals around the world have been called to serve the youth in their community and encourage themselves to be the best version of themselves they can be, through the implementation of 4-H programming in a variety of different interests and areas. If interested in learning more about the incredible mission of Florida 4-H, please consider contacting your local Extension Office today!