Scouts-L Mail Archive for May of 1999: Brothers and Sisters in Scouting?
Brothers and Sisters in Scouting?
Mon, 3 May 1999 21:34:54 -0400
Tim asked me to post the following on his behalf. Tim writes from Zurich=
Switzerland of an experience that has much to teach us all. Tim, thank yo=
Mike Bowman a/k/a Professor Beaver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Webmastering in the Scouting Spirit from Alexandria, VA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Timothy O'Leary [mailto:TJOLEARY@compuserve.com]
> Sent: Sunday, May 02, 1999 3:17 PM
> To: Mike Bowman
> Subject: Please post to Scouts-L for Me?
> Dear Mike. A quirk of my current setup is that I can read
> Scouts-L, but I cannot post from my account. Would you be willing to
> consider forwarding the follwing thoughts to the list for me,perhaps >
under the title
> "Brothers and Sisters in Scouting?"
> Many thanks.
> Tim O'Leary
> On leave from Troop 772, NCAC
> Lone Scout Counselor
I would like to share something that moved me recently.
Three and one half months ago my family moved to Switzerland for a six
month stay. My sons both enrolled in the Swiss public schools. The
younger, a First Class scout, is in a special class for students who do n=
know enough German for the regular schools.
The class includes students from many countries, including Serbia, Kosovo=
Macedonia, and of course, my son from the US. Several months ago, even
before the problems in the Balkans escalated, there was a lot of conflict
among these students.
A week ago the students put on a play, that they had been working on for
about six weeks (in German, a language native to none). Not only was the
play excellent, but, more importantly, these kids all had fun with each
other, and respect. The tensions of the war in the Balkans persist in th=
home lives of all these kids, but now there is at least one Kosavar who
worries about the home and friends of his Serbian friend, and a Serb who
worries about the Kosavars of whatever ethnic background, and an American
Scout who nightly prays for both them and theirs.
Perhaps unlike heir relatives in the Balkans, these students have known a=
worked with "the enemy." They have found that "the enemy" includes frien=
they hadn=92t yet met.
We in Scouting should, it seems to me, remember that those with whom we
disagree on advancement, gun control, or even such controversies as the
3G=92s, are not enemies, but are friends. We all care about the youth fo=
whom we assume some measure of responsibility, though we disagree on how =
carry out our roles properly. When we treat those with whom
we disagree with disrespect, we sow seeds of hatred like those we see now=
As a youth I was taught that all men are "created in the image and likene=
of God." If that is true, then every person I meet, whether I understand
them or not, agree with them or disagree, is both worthy of my respect, a=
is teaching me something about the nature of that God that I strive to kn=
We have met the enemy, and it is us (Pogo).
I know some wonderful youngsters that have learned something about Love.
May we in Scouting, though our example, help them hold that lesson dear, =
spread it wide.
Yours in Scouting,