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Lynda J

The Legacy we leave

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My mother had this framed and hanging on her wall for years. My copy was destroyed during the 2000 tornado that Ft. Worth had.

A customer that also works with kids just brought me a copy and I wanted to share it with you.

 

A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW

.....IT WILL NOT MATTER WHAT MY BANK ACCOUNT WAS

.....THE SORT OF HOUSE I LIVED IN

.....OR THE KIND OF CAR I DROVE

BUT THE WORLD MAY BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT BECAUSE I WAS IMPORTANT IN THE LIFE OF EVEN JUST ONE CHILD.

 

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That is a powerful saying. It is commonly misquoted and labeled "anonymous". It was actually written Dr. Forest Witcraft, a Scout leader wrote a short essay which appeared in Scouting magazine in the 1950's.

 

Within My Power

by Forest Witcraft

 

I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated, I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority.

 

Yet I may someday mold destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.

 

A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.

 

A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.

 

These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.

 

All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.

 

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

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FScouter --

 

I've been in Scouting a long time, but have never seen the complete text as you posted it here. Never even knew of the existence of it.

 

I have always liked the saying, but I so much more appreciate the full essay.

 

Thank you for posting it. I have printed it and will have it put into some more permanent format.

 

Thank you!

 

Unc.

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I had never known where mother got this but knew that it was important enough for her to frame it and hang it by the door. It is wonderful to know where it came from and reading the entire story makes it even more powerful.

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I've had this saying sitting on my desk for a number of years now. If I recall, my wife got it for me for Father's Day. It is a little 5x7 from the Succesories line. It show a little boy with his hands stuck in his back pockets on a shore looking out at the water. It is titled "Priorities". It sure puts things in perspective. My dad was never a scout leader. But in his heart, words and deeds; he embodied everything scouting is about. I couldn't have asked for a better dad. He has been gone almost 4 years and I miss him every day.

 

Another saying I like is, "anyone can be a father, it takes a special person to be a daddy".

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One of those companies that makes motivational posters publishes a picture of a child with that saying underneath it. The title of the picture is "Priorities". I've got a copy at work and at home. I don't really need the reminder anymore, but it's still good to have it around. For me, my family is far and away my #1 priority; everything else, including Scouting (as heretical as it may sound) is a distant 2nd place.

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The essay, and a photo of Mr. Witcraft, are available here:

 

http://www.scoutingaround.com/boy_scouts/power/

 

The quote that started this thread has been "Politically Corrected". Witcraft's original words were:A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

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