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Thats a bit predjudiced isn't it Ga?


If most the scout leaders you knew with successful troops drove blue cars would you then pre-judge other leaders skills by the color of their car? There is no difference.


Shouldn't the measure of their skill be determined by the skills diplayed by each person and not by something as unrelated as whether they wear knots?


What about the scouters that only wear their knots sometimes? Are they only skilled when they wear the shirt without the knots?

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Gotta disagree Barry I think you have your terms mixed up. Almost every decision a person makes is discriminatory but not predjudiced. Predudice is an irrational pre-judgement of a person or group based upon common but unrelated characteristics.


You don't really believe that most people make decisions that way do you?


To judge someone's abilities based on whether you see their actions as good or bad uses discrimination.


Ga is prejudging leadership skills not on the skills that are displaying but by how they choose to dress, even though they may dress correctly.




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Yes, you are right BW, it is discrimination. Still, Ga is basing his discriminating decision from a series of experiences. Fair or not, the culture is the problem because it develops the habits that lead us to make our educated decisions. Sometimes the decision is wrong, but more often than not it is right.




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No, BW, my observations are not PRE-judiced . . . they are observations.


But, the work "prejudice" has acquired an unreasoned pejorative connotation.


Actually, prejudice is essential human behavior.


When you see a bear in the woods, you (I assume) endeavor to back away most carefully, in order to avoid a confrontation. You do so because you've prejudicial decided that the bear in front of you might, in the manner of some black bears, decide that you or your Scouts look like lunch, even though you know that many bears are entirely innocent of such dietary tendencies!


When you go to Walmart (or Saks 5th Avenue), to purchase bath accessories, you probably purchase the brands you've been using. You do this, even though you know (or should know) that the actual contents of national branded packages occasionally change without notice, and even though you know (or should know) that the odds are that there are 2 or 3 other types of soap (or bath oil or what not) that are superior to, and cheaper than, the one you're buying. You persist in using your brand, choosing it prejudicially, because you know it's likely to be better than most of the 25 (or 100) other alternatives. You do this, even though what's in the package many not be what you (prejudicially) expect, and even though you have (unfairly!) excluded all the other brands from a chance to compete for your business.


The fact is that people have neither the time nor the brain power to make each and every decision they make purely on the evidence. Instead, they resort (most of the time) the lessons they think (often incorrectly) that past experience has taught them. They do this when they buy soap, meet bears, select recipes . . . and make judgments about Scouters.



They do so because the alternative to prejudicial decisions is often paralysis!



There are times when prejudice systematically steers us in the wrong direction, and needs to be systematically corrected. And, prejudice always needs to be recognized for what it is: an imprecise, approximate means of decision making that is a necessity because of our finitude and ignorance.


But, to simply dismiss a decision, because it's based on pre-judging something in the absence of better or more specific information is irrational, and even silly.


And, so, when I have to choose between Scouters and have no better information, I will recall my past observations and PREJUDICIALLY prefer those with few knots and worn shirts! When I get better information that corrects or confirms my PREJUDICIALLY-based decision, I will respond (or try to respond) based on the new information.


But BW, I strongly suspect that you are rational enough so that -- when you are not busy correcting me -- you do the same.



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1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.

2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.

3. unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.

4. such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending.

5. damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority.



Seems your definition fits!

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The real measure of a scouter is how well their unit is running, the quality program they are giving, and how their kids respond to their example, in other words they are in it for the kids and not themselves, they want to see their kids succeed not how much fruit salad they can fit on their uniform. A person who wears an overabundance of knots on their uniforms are just begging for attention, look at me, where are all your knots. Most of these type of scouters love to tell other scouters what they are doing wrong, act like uniform police, and are constantly looking for new ways to be recognized by the BSA because most of them have very unsatisfying jobs and lives.

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Sounds like a sweeping generalization to me. Most of the Scouters that I know who have a bunch of fruit salad are the ones who had a good troop, have a good career, and are generally happy. Most fruit salad comes from doing your job and getting the training, not things that slackers usually do.


By your standards, my son's first Scoutmaster should have been a cracker-jack Scouter because he had no knots on his shirt. Why no knots? Because he hadn't earned any. Never did any training beyond the minimums. Thought that boys couldn't lead so he let the adults act as den leaders. It was a fiasco of Scouting but the parents loved him because everyone advanced and he was an affable guy. Strangely he was in a dead-end job that he lied about and his own kids wouldn't listen to him.


On the other hand, one of the most dedicated Scouters that I know has a chest full of knots including the Silver Bever and is probably the biggest advocate of let the boys do it that I've ever met. Outside of scouting, he retired after 30 years in the military where he got a chest full of medals including the Purple Heart. He's married to a woman who could be a super model, his kids are doing great in school. All-in-all, he'd doing okay.


In fact, just about every dedicated Scouter that I can think of has a chest full of knots and seem to have good careers and lives. Why? Because they do their jobs and get recognized for doing it, both inside and outside of Scouting.


As for me, I'm a slacker and I only have two knots.





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GW, most of the good scouters are fully trained or their units would flounder, many of them choose not to wear the knots they have earned for a variety of reasons, they are modest about their accomplishments, don't want to make it a competition with other scouters or even with the boys and their earning ranks, etc. If they do wear them they do so with some class by not overdoing it., and not lording them over others. The question comes down to one thing, are you in it for the boys or for your own glorification. Some scouters use their knots to justify calling themselves EXPERTS in the scouting program, right Bob.


Ok "Shields Up!"

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