Selfless Service has been a main stay of the Scouting movement. It is the desire to serve others. It is the motivation to “So unto others…” It is essentially the Scouting way.
The value of Selfless service is important more than ever in our society. Today the world revolves around “Me”. Everything for “Me”. Self gratification, the need to be served, the entitlement that most people feel they deserve. Last week as I helped teach at the High School I saw this in many of the students. “What is the world going to do for me when I walk out of High School?” Instead of looking forward and seeing the opportunities to serve.
Service need not be in the military, it does not have to come in the form of social work or police and fire. Service comes from within each and every one of us to do good.
Volunteerism is a big thing right now in our country. Most major corporations have some sort of “Volunteer” opportunities to get out into the community and do good. UPS, the company I work for has a program called ‘Neighbor to Neighbor’. It is a program that goes out and does work on people’s houses, yards, and cleans up neighborhoods that are in dire need of a good scrubbing. UPS also asks that employees that do volunteer work on their own log those volunteer hours with the company. It probably gets the company an award or something at the end of the year, but the point is that the push is there to get out and do good. We see it on TV all the time, campaigns that call us to “Give an hour” or “Live United”.
In Scouting we just make a promise to “Help other people at all times” That’s all.
Yesterday as we placed all those flags I could not help but think of the great opportunity and habit that we are forming in our Scouts. Habits of service. To be selfless in the act of serving. The meaning rings true when placing a flag on the grave of a soldier. Not to get to overly dramatic, but that is the ultimate call to selflessly serve. The knowledge that one day you could pay in full for some one else.
At the top of the hill at Willamette National Cemetery is 4 head stones, much like the rest, but these are inlaid in gold and have a special marker above the name. These are the 4 individuals that understood selfless service above and beyond that of the average soldier. They may have just been in the wrong or right place at the wrong or right time, but either way, these for men were awarded the Medal of Honor. The act which earned them the highest award in our Nation comes down to this. They were in a situation that when faced with a choice, they chose to serve their buddy. It always comes down to this. Citation after citation for the Medal of Honor, it always reads the same. They stood out above and at the end of the day it was to help one of their own get out of a sticky situation, rescue their comrade, hold of the enemy till help could arrive, move fallen soldiers in the midst of hostile action. SELFLESS SERVICE.
Now I am sure that not one of the recipients of the Medal of Honor would tell you he wants it or tried to earn it. They will all tell you that they were just doing their job… they were just serving their buddy or doing their duty. And I am not suggesting that we strive to earn the Medal of Honor.
Building in our young people a love for service is what I am suggesting. The need to be of service is a great one and we need to instill in our young people a willingness to go above and beyond what the TV asks and corporations suggest as levels of service. To truly serve our neighbor, our community, our country.
Selfless Service is a must in our world today.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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