Always Learning

Johanna Hicks

By Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension educators from across the state of Texas recently met in Bryan, Texas, for a state-wide professional development conference. One of our keynote speakers really caught my interest. He was very dynamic, but not in a phony way. He encouraged each of us to find our strengths and use them in our everyday work as well as in our personal lives. He provided a website for us to explore our strengths and character traits. The outcome was extremely interesting. I learned much about my strong suits and what they mean in everyday work and personal life. My top five are listed below:

  1. Love of learning: mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge whether on one’s own or formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond.
  2. Prudence: being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
  3. Spirituality: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort.
  4. Honesty: Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense.
  5. Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.

Among the other top traits were: forgiveness, love, fairness, curiosity, kindness, perseverance, creativity and hope. If you would like to explore your characteristic strengths, simply go to the following website. You will find it very interesting: There is no charge to take the survey, but you will need to allow a little time. Research shows that understanding and applying your strengths can help:

  • Boost Confidence
  • Increase Happiness
  • Strengthen Relationships
  • Manage Problems
  • Reduce Stress
  • Accomplish Goals
  • Build Meaning and Purpose
  • Improve Work Performance

Fall Festival Events

I’ve seen lots of excited buzz on social media about the 2022 Hopkins County fall Festival. One of the popular events is the Arts & Crafts Show. Vendor spaces are available inside the Sulphur Springs High School cafeteria, north entrance, and north sidewalk leading into the cafeteria. Spaces are filling quickly, so if you have hand-made, hand-crafted items you would like to sell, please contact me soon. The event will take place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22. This is a great opportunity to do a little early Christmas shopping! A concession stand will be available inside the cafeteria, and vendors will be selling a great variety of items from wooden toys and puzzles to home décor and everything in between.

Another popular event is the Creative Arts Contest which is similar to the State Fair of Texas creative Arts contest (but on a slightly smaller scale.) Open to Hopkins County residents, individuals can showcase their art, photography, baked goods, food preservation, needlework, woodwork, and more! This event will take place in the Sulphur Springs High School Conference center, Oct. 21 and 22, with registration starting on Oct. 20.

Guidelines for both of these events are available at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 1200 Westt Houston St., Sulphur Springs. We hope to see you at the fair!

Closing Thought

Some people look for a beautiful place; others make a place beautiful. — Hazrat Khan

Contact Johanna Hicks at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension at the Hopkins County Office, P.O. Box 518, 1200-B West Houston St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75483, 903-885-3443, [email protected]

Author: KSST Contributor

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