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A joke with a purposeTags: None
- 4 Likes
- May 2008
The reality of what I do as a Scoutmaster sort of hit me last weekend at a campout. It really got me thinking. I know I won't change anyone's opinion, but here's mine.
The biggest problem I have is with scouts that don't have a stable family. I have scouts whose fathers have died, a scout whose father held him and his mom at gun point, a scout raised by his grandmother because his parents are in jail, a scout suffering PTSD because of things his biological mother did around him, scouts with split families that fight in front of their kids. And to think that I live in a nice town, too - I can imagine my problems aren't that bad. These are the kids that need scouts, but I don't have the time to help them. I try my best, but sometimes I wonder if I'm helping that much. These kids need constant attention, a mix of tough love and someone that will just listen. I don't have that much time. At this point, I wouldn't turn down help from a gay parent, and neither would any of these kids.
The adults that help the most in my troop are religious. Religion is neither necessary nor sufficient, but these people help more often than not. I thought about it and it seems that character is like any skill, you have to practice to get good at it. Not only that, but you also need an instructor that knows what he's talking about. Anything that has a long history of practice and principles is ok by me. I have no idea how the Boy Scouts word it, but we all know a duck when we see one.
Many people say the wisdom from the bible is absolute and doesn't change. I beg to differ. Anyone that believes in one God and has no problem eating a bacon cheese burger, especially for the eight days starting with the first full moon after the Northern vernal equinox, can thank someone's interpretation of dietary laws explicitly written in Leviticus, to get them off the hook. There's a long history of such interpretations. After the 24 books of the Tanakh (Bible) were canonized sometime between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the Mishnah was completed in 220 CE. This was the first collection of rabbinic work interpreting the Bible. After the Mishnah was completed the Gemara was completed around 500 CE. This is a set of interpretations of the Mishnah. That's just the beginning of what is still going on to this day. Within Jewish law the death penalty hasn't been practiced in over 2000 years. Slavery ended in the 18th century. Attitudes towards the deaf changed in the 19th century. Attitudes about gays started changing in the 70's.
Finally, for all those that say they'll leave if the vote in May doesn't go their way, I'm wondering if that's not throwing out the baby with the bath water. Think about the kids without the fathers, with the parents in jail, with moms that are heroin addicts. Will you still be around these kids to show them good character? No matter what your view point, you have to live out in the muck if you're going to help those kids that need it most. If you leave where will you go to keep helping out? Will you start a new troop in some fledgling organization? The answer to both groups is the same, the BSA is the best there is. Sometimes you remind yourself that a scout is cheerful, and you keep going. I hope some day a scout thanks you.
packsaddle commented04-12-2013, 07:36 AMEditing a commentMattR, Thank you for your thoughts on this. I tend to agree with you.
Regarding the deletion, I'm thinking the forum 'ghost' must have done the deed for your joke. I can't remember reading it but the moderators have informally agreed to 'sign' any action as serious as deleting a post, etc. I can't say for sure that someone didn't remove the joke but I can say for sure that I didn't and if I had, I would have left a message as to why.
So please add the joke again as a comment and if any moderators have other thoughts, please add those comments as well. All I really want is to understand things.
Thanks again for a thoughtful post.
P.S. as if I need to add, this is MY second attempt to successfully add a comment.
MattR commented04-12-2013, 10:54 AMEditing a commentI'm sure it was the ghost, there was nothing obnoxious about the joke. No offense was taken. At this point, we need a place to talk so I'll be thrifty and leave things alone.