Scoutmaster Musings - Kind


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Scoutmaster Musings

Kind
From the Scout Handbook - "A Scout is kind. A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing."

Of all the points in the Scout Law, if the world at large experienced an overall increase in the level of Kindness it would have the most impact. The majority of news stories come about from a lack of kindness. People take advantage of the weak rather than assist them. Fanatics attack and kill rather than have compassion and a desire for resolution. On and on it goes as we make excuses and rationalize our aggression and hate.

Kindness should be first practiced by a Scout in his own home. It can be a difficult challenge to show kindness to those in your family. Whether it be irritating siblings or misunderstanding parents, making constant efforts to be kind to those people with whom you have a conflict is hard work. Each of us is bound to fail some times, especially when we are in such close quarters for such a large part of our time. At those times of failing to be kind, kindness can still make a comeback through sincere apologies and forgiveness. The point of 'Forgiveness' is not in the Scout Law, but it is a real demonstration of kindness.

It's much easier to be kind to friends, teammates, other scouts, and family acquaintenances that are seen occasionally. There is less personal commitment and less intimacy so it is less work to overlook their shortcomings and differences in beliefs and behaviors. Still, a Scout needs to demonstrate kindness to these people in order to build friendships and strengthen his character. Typically, showing kindness to these people results in a response of similar kindness in return.

A Scout should understand that kindness towards animals and the natural world in general will most likely result in no direct personal response, but will have lasting impact for others. By considering how actions today will effect the resources available to generations later on, we are being kind to those people that have yet to be born. Reducing waste, becoming more 'green', practicing good low-impact camping skills, and helping others understand the needs of our planet are great demonstrations of kindness to the world.

An enemy can also be shown kindness. Maintaining a gentle demeanor when provoked and refusing to lower your honor to fight or exchange insults takes a strong person. Seeing that another person has a different view from your own and trying to understand it through empathy and compassion can minimize or defuse many confrontations. That is not to say that one should never fight; defending someone that needs your help may require extreme measures.

I'm sure you've heard of doing random acts of kindness. That is a great thought to keep active in your mind. If we're continually looking for ways to practice kindness, opportunities will continually show up. Another thing to remember is that being kind with no expectation of getting something in return is the best way to ensure you will get more back than you could imagine.

A Scout is Kind.
Posted: 23:44 01-13-2008 294
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