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Any Lessons for the BSA, or us, in This?

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  • Any Lessons for the BSA, or us, in This?

    At the beginning of a 1937 Scouting personnel handbook, the author quotes from James Truslow Adams’ Epic of America,

    If the American dream is to come true and to abide with us, it will, at bottom, depend on the people themselves. We cannot become a great democracy by giving ourselves up as individuals to selfishness, physical comfort, and cheap amusements. The very foundation of the American dream of a better and richer life for all is, that all, in varying degrees, shall be capable of wanting to share in it.

    If we are to make the dream come true we must all work together, no longer to build bigger, but to build better.

    The American dream–the means provided by the accumulated resources of the people themselves, a public intelligent enough to use them, and men of high distinction, themselves a part of the great democracy, devoting themselves to the good of the whole, uncloistered.
    Scouting seeks to make the American dream come true for the youth it serves.

    Was he right? Have we abandoned those precepts as a nation and as a movement?

  • #2
    Interesting how concerns a century old are so similar to current ones. Hopefully we will see a sea change back towards more rational and altruistic interactions in our society. If not, we could yet go the way of the Roman Empire.

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    • #3
      Many lessons to be learned, primarily, that the common good is more important than the individual good. And that the individual good is derived from the common good. Then again, if we believed this as a society we wouldn't have to beg people to be scout leaders or church volunteers or help put together a community picnic on the 4th of July. I fear we are 50 years down the path and far beyond the point of no return.

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