Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wear Your Letters

I know it has been a while since I have written one of these and I am really sorry about that! To all my food fans out there I am sorry as well, the next few paragraphs will have nothing to do with food… I know shocking! No, but seriously I wanted to take this time and talk about something I have forgot lately. This next quote will pretty much sum it all up so here it goes.

“From the moment you say yes to this organization, you are always wearing your letters.”

I saved this quote after a conversation I had with one of my friends in another fraternity here at K-State. To give a little background we had been noticing this picture kept coming up on Facebook for a couple of our “mutual friends” as Facebook calls them. This picture was of a fraternity member holding up a sign that talked about being a part of a fraternity and not a “frat”. Since we study together quite frequently together I brought up the topic of that picture to see what he thought about it. He quickly sent me to a blog post by a man named T.J. Sullivan. Then as any great, frustrating friend would, he would not talk to me anymore until I had read it.

I started to read the blog casually, not entirely too focused and more worried about which song was coming up next on my iTunes, until that quote in bold came up. Now I don’t know about anyone else but when something comes up in bold I normally pay more attention to it. After reading and rereading the quote several times I decided to go back to the beginning of the blog and really pay attention to the words that this man, with obviously much more experience and wisdom than I had, had wrote.

(For those of you who wish to read the blog before going on here is the link) http://tjsullivan.com/you-are-always-wearing-your-letters/

After I finished, I took it all in and then said something to my friend sitting across the table. Since he had a test the next morning at 8:30 and it was already pretty late he didn’t say much back. I was fine with that since I had my own homework assignment to be working on, and the only reason I had even mentioned this was because I had fallen into the time wasting trap of social media… again. So I dropped the topic and after quickly saving the quote and the article on my flash drive I continued to work on my homework.

I still don’t know how or why and am still kinda laughing about how God continues to place things where I need it, when I need it, but I just stumbled across this article in my flash drive again very recently. As I read and re-read the article again I looked back on my past few weeks of my life.

Now I am going to preface this next little part with the fact that I am a normal human being with a normal range of emotion and the rest of my team is a bunch of “soulless robots” when it comes to sad movies such as Marley and Me and Toy Story 3, sad songs such as “This is Your Life” by Switchfoot, and other “emotional” situations. Not really, but I for some reason am the only person on my team that tends to cry, and I don’t hardly ever cry, like at all!

But anyways, I did proceed to have what I like to call an “emotional life pause”. I realized that I being a human being had made some mistakes recently and I had wronged some people. I was not “wearing my letters” as the article had stated and I needed to make some changes.

Now in the article “wearing your letters” referred to the Greek letters that many fraternities use to distinguish themselves from one another. But to me “the letters” were a different set than my fraternity. F-F-A was the three letters that kept coming to mind after reading that powerful statement.

For those of you who haven’t went up to check out the link yet, I would urge you to please do, this saves me quite a bit of writing and Mr. Sullivan does a much more eloquent job of explaining it than I can. But to sum it up how much different would we act if our “letters” were tattooed to our foreheads for everyone to see? How much different would we act if everyone could see which organization we were in all the time? What would we do differently?

I am going to finish this blog post up with a quote that was on my chapter’s FFA T-Shirts my sophomore year of high school. It comes from one of my personal favorite movies “Stomp The Yard” and it is pretty neat if you take some time and think about it.

“The letters do not make you, YOU make the letters”

2 comments:

Zach Harrison said...

This was a very meaningful message. I love that quote, even though it was intended for the Greeks system I agree that it can be applied to FFA members everywhere.

Steven Brockshus said...

Nathan-

I am proud of you. It is great to see that God is working wonders in your heart and in your life. The message that you have shared in this blog may not mean much to those who do not put their toe in the water and risk much. But it is enriched with value for those who dive into something wholeheartedly, risking a lot for something that is greater than themselves. For that determined person, your message has power.

Keep up the great work and give this last 'homestretch' everything you have. You don't want to look back in the books and think that a great memory could have been greater. It is all a process.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am proud to wear my letters, everyday, knowing that you are too.

Keep on keeping on man.