Everyone that is a volunteer or has ever volunteered has heard the quote“One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like, but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.”
But did you know that this famous quote is from a Scouter? Well, it is and it first appeared in the October 1950 issue of Scouting Magazine. That’s right, the author was a man named Forest E. Witcraft (1894 – 1967). He was a scholar, teacher, and Boy Scout administrator.
The other night at our District Dinner a Scoutmaster and friend of mine shared the story in it’s entirety with the Scouters of our District. Peter sent it to me in the form of a comment on the blog, but I thought it would be a better post, that way it would not get skipped over.
So here it is. The name of the article as it appeared in October 1950 is called “Within my Power”. Enjoy!
Within My Power
by Forest E. Witcraft
I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated. I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority.
Yet I may someday mould destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.
A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.
A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.
These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.
All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.
A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.
Have a Great Scouting Day!