4-H was my foundation.
Before I got truly involved in the Jesus movement, I learned the foundations of life through the Sarasota County 4-H chapter of Riding Rednecks. Through this organization, and my parents’ love of farm living, I was able to help raise chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, mice, pigs, a goat, a ferret, horses, cows, a deer, and a Holstein calf that endured the removal of a hernia to go on and win a blue ribbon at the county fair.
Although I probably learned more about humanity from animals in my formative years than I have learned from most humans ever since, 4-H did lay the foundation for what I believe to be the prescription for a model human existence. Their motto was “to make the best better.” To achieve this goal, we pledged our heads to clearer thinking, our hearts to greater loyalty, our hands to greater service, and our health to better living, for our club, our community, our country, and our world.
While I would later read about Jesus breaking down the goals of our existence into the two commandments of loving God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and loving our neighbors as ourselves, 4-H provided a more precise application for how to go about doing it. And after I’ve spent the last few years researching and developing my concept of ABC2 Economics and how it can further expand the application of how, a few weeks ago, I found a small notepad with the 4-H motto and pledge on it, and it reminded me just how far back the seeds of my philosophy were planted.
For me, it seems that the 4H pledge did a good job of laying the groundwork for crafting a life of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Decades after the notion was first introduced to me, it’s even more interesting to see how my concept of ABC2 Economics has taken shape. While my hope is for this concept to help reshape the way we use money in order to more democratically channel it to address the Artistry of our lives, the Business of continued innovation, the Citizenry of progress, and the Community we’re creating, ultimately, it is a way to, as 4H said, “make the best better.”
I see ABC2 Economics as a way to empower people economically, but I also see it as a means for developing that heart/mind/body/spirit balance that 4H was striving for, and that has been promoted through so many traditions since. I’ll be discussing ABC2 Economics for months and probably years to come, and I’m sure that I’ll be revisiting the 4H pledge again from time to time. Through my little internet portal here, I hope to help make the best better by making myself better.