Hillyard, Richard (rkh1@OPSIRM1.EM.CDC.GOV)
Fri, 2 Jun 1995 07:57:00 EST
Stan Hodge stated:
>2) I do not suggest that the wrong boys were selected. Indeed that was
>not the case. I suggest instead that as we try to work with an
>introverted boy with minimal social skills but who was qualified, but
>perhaps somewhat marginally (from a social behavior point of view
>only), we are now given an additional challenge caused by his perceived
>decrease in self worth. [Are any of us any different in our perceptions
>-- and remember to most of us perception is indeed reality -- we all know
>people have accidents on the highway every day; but if someone who
>you view might be "the great accident determiner" stops you and places
>a big X on the top of your car, would you not have second thoughts
>about continuing your journey?] It is these perceptions of self worth
>which are so fragile among men at this age and about which I am most
>concerned. We need to build their (all young men, but particularly the
>most fragile) perceptions of worth rather than tear it down -- no matter
>how much value may be gained by those selected.
As a Scout Leader, a little league coach and a leader of a group of boys at
our church, I see problems with the way children are taught and handled
today. We are developing a very "soft", insecure world for our children.
Mr. Hodge talks about self-worth of young men. His answer is to give them
everything. I see young men who have been given so much, without having to
work hard for it, that when they lose a little league game, they cry, or go
off on a temper tantrum. These young men quite often lack the character to
know how to take defeat. They are all great kids and you hate to see them
fail, but I feel that this is an important part of "growing up". In order
for a boy to be "well rounded" when he reaches adulthood, he needs to
experience successes, and failures, or set-backs. Life is not always going
to work out, and it takes these ups and downs in life for a person to
develop the character necessary to be a "complete person".
A boy who comes unglued over not being elected to something, should not put
the blame on anyone. In addition, the people who failed to elect him, are
not at fault, if this boys perception of self-worth decreases. One cannot be
so self-centered that they put their self worth above that of everyone else.
If this is the case, this boy will have problems for the rest of his life.
Leaders need to interact positively with the boy to turn his "non-election"
into a positive. Counseling on how to face disappointments in life, how to
become an even better scout, helping him in developing a service project
that will benefit others so that his perception of worth is increased and
his level of recognition as well. These are just a few things that could be
done, instead of accusing the system of not being fair.
We are developing into a very "soft society". We are growing a generation
that is losing the competitiveness and backbone of generations past. We need
to be raising, responsible boys, with character, who will be able to face
the future. Scouting is a big part of this character development and a very
positive one. OA elections, and other elections help build the character
necessary to face the challenges ahead.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City