I have said it before on this blog that stories or themes seem to come in bunches. And so it seems that the recurring theme as of late at least around me is that Life is not fair. Well, I keep hearing it, at work, in Scouts, and at my sons school, in particular the football team.
I keep hearing that “it’s not fair that my son does not get playing time”, “I never get a good vacation”, “I don’t understand why some Scouts get a lot of merit badges and some don’t”. We guess what… Life’s not fair and it’s not meant to be. Think about it for a minute… do we want it to be fair? I want folks to have equal opportunities to be successful, but fair? I’m not so concerned with the idea that everything should be given.
I recently tweeted that the best verb in our language is “EARNED”. We all have the opportunity to earn. We have the opportunity to win a spot on the team, we have the opportunity to earn those merit badges, we have the opportunity to earn our way to a better vacation. That is fair.
Our society has gotten so used to having things given that it has lost it’s will to earn.
To many people have forgotten that fairness only works when we earn. It’s all about opportunity and having that chance. That chance equals fair.
Bill Gates, Phil Knight, and Ross Perot all earned what they have, they were not given anything but opportunity.
The difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution was the American’s fought for liberty while the French fought for equality. I would rather have liberty and have a chance for opportunity than equality and have everything the same. Our nation proclaims that all men are created equal. That I believe.. we are equal in the fact that we all were created with the opportunity to be successful… what you do with that is up to you.If you choose to waste it that you will get what you get. No vacation, No merit badges, and no spot on the team.
Life is not fair? Nope, Life is fair… you just have to do something with your opportunity.
Scouting provides these life lessons and we need to be reinforcing those values. A quick look at the Oath and Law will show us that we need to take the opportunity to live those values and in turn be successful. The Oath and Law will lead you to earning those things in life that are important and they will open doors of opportunity. They are not given, they are earned. And that is fair.
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Have a Great Scouting Day!
And on the heals of this great debate, and to be honest… like a reader suggested… I’m ready to stop talking about this and get back to backpacking and other more meaningful subjects…
But on the heals of the debate, yesterday Jason Collins, a professional basketball player in the NBA “Came out” in an interview with Sports Illustrated. This morning on ESPN that is the head line news and Jason is being hailed as a hero. Now, I am not going to rehash my position on homosexuals.. well maybe I should just clarify my belief.
First. People are people and deserve respect no matter who they sleep with. Second. I am not homophobic and believe in live and let live… In short.. I don’t care. Third. I am not gay, it is not my thing, but the “Gay agenda” has little or no impact on me and my life, so… live and let live. And finally, I think when it comes to religion and religious institutions, they should practice what they preach. If it is a sin.. hate the sin.. not the sinner.
Ok.. having said all of that for the last time… I am going to move on. The BSA is going to make a change in the policy. I think they are to far into this to turn back and I think in light of Jason Collins interview, the public will not allow any other decision other than to change the policy to include openly gay Scouts.
So what do we do now? Well, let me tell you what this Scoutmaster is going to do. NOTHING. I will comply with the policy and treat every Scout just like I treat them today. I will keep teaching and coaching. I will train leaders and I will go camping each month with them. Nothing will change in Troop 664. Now, some families may leave due to the fundamental idea that the organization has let them down and changed a policy that they feel contradicts their values. I hear that, but at the end of the day… it is the collective values and training at the unit level that matter. The Oath and Law stand firm. I believe in the Oath and Law and know that they assist in making good citizens and men of character. Gay, Straight, or whatever would be in between.
How I deal with the conversations that happen with those families that will certainly be unhappy with the BSA’s decision is going to be critical in maintaining a positive Scouting experience.
I had a talk the other day with a parent. They shared with me that they did not want to see the policy change. I shared with her that really nothing will change locally and asked if she and her family had up to this point a positive Scouting experience. The answer was yes. so I had to ask if she thought any of that experience would change. She said not locally, but she was disappointed in how the Boy Scouts could let down the majority of its members. I agreed. Like it or not, the BSA is a pretty conservative organization that has took pride in staying the course.
Again, I don’t have a problem with opening up the doors, but that is where the change stops. When a boy joins our Troop we ask him to promise to live the Scout Oath and Law. We expect that they live a certain way in which the values found in the Oath and Law dictate their daily walk. We don’t allow abuse, hazing, or disrespect. And so when a gay boy comes in, he will be expected to do the same. I will not make concessions in the Law and Oath.
I really hope that no one leaves Scouting because of this. But I know it’s going to happen. For that I am sad. I am not leaving. At the core Scouting will still be the best program for our youth and the program will still be selling point that keeps Scouts looking for adventure and developing into great men.
This is the last word on this subject for me.
Now, I need to weigh some gear and get packed for Wood Badge.
Have a Great Scouting Day!