As an official optimist, it broke my heart to hear that the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy this week after a barrage of sex-abuse cases were filed. I have only positive images of the Scouts through buying popcorn, watching young men grow and go the extra mile to become Eagle Scouts, and being prepared for all sorts of things. Like I said, positive images. They’re as much a part of our culture as Big Mac sandwiches and apple pie so my mind immediately went to all the youngsters who might not get a chance to be transformed and nurtured through this ministry.
Nevertheless, we’re living in a time of great change but things that matter gently remind us that how we love and care for our boys and girls will always be important. Here’s what I mean:
First, we must see all the people, especially the children. This slogan popped up a couple of years ago from a religious entity to remind us to see all the people around us. The mentoring and adventures offered by the Scouts opened a new world for boys and girls—if the Scouts aren’t around in all the places they’ve been before, we must pick up the slack and move our youngsters forward.
The lessons we must teach include how to win, lose, succeed, and fail. Soul singer William Bell performed at the White House during the Obama Administration and sang his hit “Everybody Loves a Winner,” but the song goes on to say “…but when you lose, you lose alone.” It’s true. We all like to win but we have to know why we lose so that we can learn to win, according to basketball great Michael Jordan.
I believe the Scouts taught youngsters how to brush themselves off when they failed and it’s a lesson we need to learn, too. When everything comes easy for us, we may never have to move from our comfort zone and what we know and trust, thus we may never reach the pinnacle of greatness God intends for us. We all need someone to push, to inspire, to believe in us so we can soar. We are all persons of great worth and to be acknowledged and invested in simply says “I see you and you matter.” We must embrace this scout lesson.
Second, scouts are taught to be the best version of themselves. They’re taught teamwork, friendship, and leadership traits that will keep them focused for life. Imagine what would happen if we all put forth a genuine team effort every time. There would be less crime, fewer homeless veterans, and equity would rule the day. Equity for me means everybody has what they need, when they need it, and they get to keep their dignity.
In scouting, life skills like communication, conflict resolution and perseverance are taught and learned through practice. I’ve never been a scout but I suspect we are all better because someone we know and love was a part of this great organization. I don’t know what will become of it if they survive bankruptcy but I know this: the good they do/have done will linger like a sweet fragrance.
Our hearts go out to the scouts who were harmed by abuse and I pray that those who abused will receive appropriate punishment for the betrayal of this sacred trust.
I’m on my way home Saturday to the W.G. Rhea Public Library, Paris, Tennessee, home of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry—hope to see you there.
Having thoughts on ways to love and care more for our boys and girls? Share with me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.