See one Show one…

A familiar phase heard around my Troop. The universal sign to quiet down and pay attention in Scouting is when someone raises their hand with the Scout sign. It usually takes a second or two.. but then the roar dulls, the whispers stop, and all eyes are focused on the leader that is standing quietly right arm raised.
The Scouts typically say, when they see the sign go up.. “See one..Show one”. It is a simple phrase that means see the sign.. give the sign.. and quiet down. It is a reminder to show the leader some respect and do as instructed.
Tonight while I was on my drive home, I was forced to take a detour. The detour took me through a part of town, that lets just say I would not frequent otherwise. Without being racial or paint a picture with too broad a brush, the residents of this area are often associated with less than desirable activity.. Every town has this part of town… and all of you can relate having watched at least a segment of any major cities news cast.
As I drove I was suddenly stopped at an intersection. Police cars, lights flashing at all corners. One officer directing traffic as to avoid the goings on at the North East corner of the block. My window was down and the officer asked if I could “just sit tight” for a minute. I nodded and turned down the radio to hear the ruckus. A young man came from across the street yelling at the police officer. The language that flew from his mouth would make a merchant marine blush.
He kept yelling “Why don’t you show us some respect? Why don’t you show us some respect?”
The officer, very cool and collected turned to the young man. When they were about ten feet apart, the officer said in a calm voice, “I will show you respect when you show me respect.”
I thought to myself BINGO.. that is all we really can expect.
See one…show one.. its all about respect.
When a leader shows those he leads respect by not yelling and screaming.. those that follow will act accordingly. When we use the Scout sign to still the crowd, the crowd recognizes the sign and complies with it. The leader respects the led in his calm approach, telling the group that he respects them enough to treat them like mature people that are will to listen.
This young man, obviously angry and emotional did not take the time to think about his actions.
It has been said that you catch more bees with honey. The police officer was just there to maintain some order.. he did not need the profanity that was thrown at him, he does not deserve that on any day. When we act in a way that is inappropriate we get a like response.
Kudos to the Portland Police officer that defused that situation with a kind and gentle approach. It was not what the young man wanted to hear.. but I think it stunned him non the less.
The officer is right.. show me some respect.. not as an officer of the law.. but as a man.. a human.. a fellow citizen, and I will show you the same.


Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. I think the problem the young man had with the policeman not showing him respect and the policeman asking for respect is different meanings of the word. The young man may have thought that the policeman talking to him, pulling him over or whatever reason, was disrespectful. Indeed there was a case of a young teenager who was stabbed to death last year in London for giving another teenager a ‘dirty look’.The policeman, however, wanted respect for himself as a person doing a job and the position he holds. I think that’s what, as you say, he wanted.Number 7 in the UK Scout Law says ‘A Scout has self-respect and respect for others’.If more people adhered to that principle, there would be a lot less problems in the world!Nick


  2. Great story. I’ve seen some screamers in my time. While they might get results they don’t get a commensurate amount of respect. Your story exemplifies that detail. Thanks.


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