Thoughts to Ponder
Bob Morehead (rmorehead@NLS.NET)
Thu, 20 Aug 1998 12:22:06 -0400
What follows is a philosophical essay on attitudes. I believe it has
bearing for Scouts-L, because our attitudes and outlooks have impact on
the Scouts we serve.
This essay is prompted by some statements made in a recent thread and I
thought the attitudes that seem to be behind the statement needed
addressed in a separate thread.
It's been said by some that I'm a cynic, so coming from me, what follows
is pretty strong: America has become far too cynical. We're bombarded
by statements like "Get real!" or "Reality check!" Statements of ideals
are pooh-poohed because such things never happen in the "Real World."
TV shows and films that depict "traditional" nuclear families are
non-existent because such depictions "don't reflect reality in today's
world." June and Ward are a myth. Such things never happen.
Historians and commentators scramble to debunk traditional ideas and
legends about historical figures and show the "real person, warts and
all." Dr. King was a plagiarist. Alexander was gay.
Contemporary Americans seem blind to the insidious disease this
represents. By hyperfocusing on "reality" we lose sight of the fact
that reality is transitory and the "unreal" images we are debunking are,
in fact, the goals that we should be working to achieve. The
mythologized people are the archetypes we should be working to become;
the "Utopia" the society we should be trying to build. By never
depicting a person or situation that is beyond contemporary "reality,"
we can never rise above where we are; we have no models to imitate.
Maybe in the "Real World" there are no Fred McMurray-type Scouters who
are "ready, willing and able to endure whatever hardships come there
[sic] way in order to deliver the promise," but that doesn't mean I
shouldn't be trying to be one. I've never yet met a boy (or a man for
that matter) who totally lived up to the Scout Oath and Scout Law at all
times and in all situations, but I'm still teaching it and I'm still
Scouters, don't let the cynics build strip malls in Camelot! Keep the
myths alive and keep working to make THEM reality! Of course we can
never actually succeed, but think of what we can accomplish by trying!
ASM, Troop 381
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City