If you haven’t heard of the #bekind movement, I suggest you look into it. Right now it is mostly in schools to help combat bullying and violence. I don’t think think that bullying and violence are necessarily problems in the Stock Show world, but has being kind to other people ever hurt anyone? Being kind can only elevate this industry and demonstrate leadership to others. The essence of the movement is view your attitude as a choice. It’s not fun to be on either side of the opposite of kindness. You always have a choice, so choose to be kind. So you can be kind when attending stock shows as well.
- Be a Mentor, not a Meantor: Meantor isn’t really a word, but I’m a Language Arts teacher so I’m pretty sure I can make up words. There is a difference in telling someone they are wrong and teaching someone. We all see people that might need help or advice. Instead of dirty looks, gossip, or being a know-it-all, be kind and offer help.
- Aisleways are for everyone: We all have a lot of stuff that we bring to shows for the day or the weekend. We are basically all renting space for the time. Share space and be kind to people as they walk through the aisleways.
- Watch your overspray: Wash Racks are coveted real estate. Watch your overspray and if someone sprays you, assume they didn’t do it on purpose. Double blowers are awesome, but the overspray from them isn’t if you are starting to dry your animal and the family next to you is ready to go in the ring. Again, probably not on purpose. A little communication can go a long way here.
- Clean up after yourself: I’m not talking about the mulch or shavings left over. Most of the people who put on the shows are volunteers. Don’t make them do more than they have to do. Clean up your trash, sweep up your mess #bekind to the people putting on the shows.
- Say Thank You: Gratitude = Kindness. Say it to the person that helped you at check-in, the person that helped you when your animal was stubborn. Say it to parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles that came to watch. Say it to your neighbor that didn’t overspray in the wash rack or in the stalls, I think you get the idea.
Showing livestock is very hard, but also very rewarding. We can make the reward even better by spreading kindness while we are at the shows. We always have the choice to be kind or not. At the next stock show choose to #bekind.
Most people who work with Jeremy Evans at Dover Middle School in Dover, Ohio think Jeremy is a farmer. He prefers the term “Agriculture Enthusiast” because 8 acres and 5 head of cattle doesn’t exactly make a farm. When he is not grading papers or changing apostrophes that don’t belong in plural nouns, he enjoys feeding his son’s (Barrett, Brady, Blaine) steers, but not writing the checks for the feed. His wife Michelle is also a teacher at Dover City Schools and he considers his greatest accomplishment in life the fact that he converted his wife from a “horse person” to a “cow person” as evidenced by the fluffer comb in the back pocket of her ski pants at shows.