We talk a lot about Character and making men of Character in Scouting. We spend a great deal of time reinforcing the ideals found in the Scout Oath and Law and expect our Scouts to live those values which will lead him to a life in which he will be counted as one that has Character.
I have talked about Character a lot here in this blog and believe that if we do nothing else with these young men, we owe them the very best training in being a man of Character.
I have said it before and I will echo it till the end of time… I really don’t care if a Scout earns his Eagle as long as he develops Character. His Character will get him much farther in life than a red, white, and blue ribbon with an Eagle suspended from it. Having said that though, you all know that I want them all to earn their Eagle, but the Eagle award does not make the man, Character does.
I was listening to some sports talk radio today and they were discussing the “steroid Ballot” for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, I am not going to bother getting into the details of the discussion and I also will not share my opinion on the ballot.. well actually I am in a round about way.
The reason that this caught my attention was that to the folks hosting the discussion made it an issue of Character. And yes sir.. that’s what it is all about. There was an argument that the guys that are on the ballot that used “Performance enhancing Drugs” were Hall of Famer’s before they used the steroids.. well if they were Hall of Famer’s then.. why did they need to cheat?
Mark McGuire who is the only player that actually admitted to the use of steroids said that it was important for him to “come clean” because at some point he had to look his children in the eye and explain all of this.. and that is what got my attention.
In previous posts I have explained the rule of “Saying it aloud“. It works every time. I really liked the idea of McGuire holding himself accountable to his kids. That is a great rule for character. We are all accountable to some one and we should act accordingly.
Along with the values of the Oath and Law, knowing that at some point we will have to answer for our actions should force us to act with character. I was listening to Dennis Prager the other day, he said something that reinforced this idea. He said he did not care how you feel.. he cares more about how you act. This too plays a big part in curbing selfish behavior and a lack of character. We live in an era where people feel entitled and that as long as they feel it is ok, then it is. On the contrary, we are still accountable for our actions and at the end of the day you will have an effect on someone else. Knowing that at some point I will have to answer for my actions and that the last people on earth that I ever want to disappoint are my children, I act in accordance with my values. Does it always make those around me feel great.. No, but at the end of the day they can see that I acted with character.
I have made it a point to always demonstrate good character to my kids. It has not always been the cool thing and at times it has left them feeling like I am mean-spirited or a jerk, but then they realize that I care and want only the best for them and all of us.
We often use the standard of the Oath and Law in our discussion of wrong and right. We know that at some point we will all have to answer for a decision we make. If more people used that standard, the world would simply be a better place. There would not be spouses cheating on each other, there would be less crime, there would be far less Congressmen… oh I just could not resist, but seriously our leaders would be driven to make better decisions… after all they are accountable to US.. right.
So Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, and Sammy Sosa all juiced and had amazing stats in baseball… they are all on the ballot for entry in the Hall of Fame. We don’t get a vote, but can they say they got in as a player that did not cheat? Just because they all did it, does that make it right? Not if you are judging based on character. If they get in they are in and will have to continue answering the questions about steroid use. If they don’t get in, they will still have to answer for why they did not get in.. the steroid use. If they were actually Hall of Famer’s before they used.. they should have use McGuire’s standard of how he would answer to those that are most important.. his kids. Personally I don’t care one way or the other if they are Hall of Famer’s. To me, they cheated and therefore lose the privilege of being in the Hall of Fame, but then my only vote is how I look at them in regard to their character. I judge.
As for me, I will use the values I have and the remember that one day I may have to look in my children’s eyes and answer for my actions. That should be enough to make anyone remember that Character matters more than Eagle Medals or statues in the Hall of Fame.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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