“I Pledge My Head to Clearer Thinking,
My Heart to Greater Loyalty,
My Hands to Larger Service,
And My Health to Better Living,
For My Club, My Community, My Country, and My World.”
As a nine-year 4-H member, I’ve said this pledge hundreds of times, but it’s often easy to forget the meaning behind it. The pledge is the reason behind the name, 4-H, standing for Head, Heart, Health, and Hands. This, for many 4-H members, has been applied as a way of life, a way to conquer fears and achieve greatness.
To really understand what the 4-H program teaches young people, it’s necessary to look at what each part of it means. Firstly, “I Pledge My Head to Clearer Thinking.” This amplifies the need to think problems through logically and bring out fresh ideas. We’re given an appreciation for learning and gaining knowledge to bring to fruition new ideas and projects to help our community.
Secondly, “I Pledge My Heart to Greater Loyalty.” The loyalty to our country, our family, our friends, and our community is a vital lesson learned in the 4-H program. We learn to put our hearts into all that we do and give it our best effort, to care for those around us, to have the determination to achieve our highest goals, and to embrace every opportunity whole-heartedly.
Next, “I Pledge My Hands to Larger Service.” The need to help your community and those less fortunate is one the most important aspects of being a good citizen. We are taught to put our effort, not only into improving ourselves, but improving the lives of those around us. Reaching out to help our communities close by and far away is something very important to our 4-H members.
Next is “I Pledge My Health to Better Living.” This refers not only to our own personal health, but also the health of the environment and agricultural lands and businesses around us. There had always been a large emphasis put on sustaining and supporting agriculture in your own personal lives, which gives us an appreciation for the environment.
Finally, “For My Club, My Community, My Country, and My World.” This shows us not only to think on a small scale, but more on how things in our own communities will have effects on a larger scale. It also emphases the giving of ourselves and our time to our community. We learn to not live only for ourselves, but for helping those around us and improving the lives of those in our community.
This pledge emphases our way of life as 4-H members. Through following this pledge, we achieve our goals and learn what it is to be good citizens. We gain the confidence to conquer our fears and live our lives to the fullest. November is National 4-H Month, our time to celebrate our 4-H colours and show the world what it means to us!
Jacinta Meir is a 4-H BC Ambassador.