Monday Morning Coffee | March 22, 2010


"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us."
- Marcel Proust

ON MY HONOR . . . !

The Boy Scouts have long espoused the same set of principles. It goes like this: "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent." How simple life could be if we all practiced just that short list. Each in itself denotes a wonderful trait. When put into action, all can make the world a better place.

So, what happens between the age of scouting and age 30, 50, or 75? How is it that we turn from being a friendly 12-year-old to a suspicious, stand-offish adult? How do we turn the corner from being obedient to our elders to challenging the authority of our employers or government? Why won't we open the door for someone who can't? Did simple courtesy die with our youth?

Perhaps experience has taught us that others are not always friendly, courteous and kind. "Turn-about is fair play," we may respond. Why should we be thrifty, taking care to save for our future, when everyone around us has "maxed out" their credit cards? Reverence for all we know to be of value seems to have become the victim of political correctness. Why should we be any different?

The greatness of our country was built on the solid rock of "principles." The soft, easy life of an affluent society may be our undoing. Our forefathers had it tough. Most of us living today had a cake-walk, comparatively speaking. Our forbearers had to live their principles - or face the defeat of poverty, ill-health, and despair.

Our children can bring us back if only we will take the time to teach them those simple principles. More than teaching, we might help them practice those principles in their daily lives until habit makes them permanent. Begin while they are still playing in the sandbox. They will grow soon enough into men and women who live principle-centered lives!

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