from the Capital Press, Editorial, November 8, 2013
The FFA (Future Farmers of America) has concluded another national convention, a four day salute to the power of positive thinking and hard work, attended by some 63,000 young people.
We would be among the first to agree that the national media all too often focuses on the protesters, the complainers and the discontented. The cameras roll and someone demands that others address some pressing ill.
Where was the coverage of 63,000 teens who gathered in Louisville and asked nothing of anyone but themselves? They spent four days encouraging each other to reach higher, to try harder, to do more.
If you want to make headlines, tear up the town square, break store windows and set cars on fire.
Where are the photos of the blue-jacketed mob that respected public property, the flow of traffic and commerce, and the laws of Kentucky? And, we would bet, left the convention hall the way they found it, if not better.
Popular culture celebrates the failures and excesses of the star in rehab, the celebrity who spews drunken slurs or the musician who builds her career on cheap, sexual exploits.
What does it make of the FFA’ers and their strong values, of young people who are comfortable in their faith, proudly patriotic, unabashedly respectful and positive?
We salute those who attended the convention and their 500,000 colleagues and classmates who could not. The world can always use more teens like these who understand that a dream is realized by one’s deeds, not by demands placed on others; who know that success is proportionate to the effort they themselves exert; and who in failure gain a greater resolve to try harder, work longer and press forward.
Their creed places the onus of their own happiness and success on themselves. They are determined and self-reliant. Fully aware of the challenges they face in and uncertain economy, they remain optimistic about their future. Fortunately for those of us who like to eat, and depend on our nation’s food supply, these young people are our farmers and leaders of tomorrow.
Where was the media, in telling their story?