Archive for July, 2010

SM Minute—A Scout is Cheerful

July 25, 2010

Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Cheerful

A Scout is Cheerful.  A Scout looks for the bright side of life.  He cheerfully does tasks that come his way and tries his best to make other happy, too.

In August of 1917, Dan Beard wrote in Boys Life magazine that A Scout is Cheerful, A Cheer-up, Good for Sore Eyes, Good for Sore Hearts.  He starts out like this:

This is easy for a Scout.  In the first place the Scout is young, and that in itself should make him cheerful, and in the second place, he is a Scout and we have already discovered that a Scout is trustworthy, local, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind and obedient, and if he is all these things he must be cheerful.

Cheerfulness is a matter of training and good digestion.  If a boy takes care of his health, and obeys the third article of the oath, which he knows is to keep himself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight, it will be easy for him to be cheerful.  In fact, it will take an effort on his part not to be cheerful.  He must remember the prayer, originated by the National Scout Commissioner for the Scouts:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord I may not shirk;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord I’ve done my work.

And done it with a smile, especially the smile of a clean-minded enthusiastic Scout.

As a born pessimist, I’m less than successful with this point of the Scout Law.  In my long-held opinion, the glass is half empty, and what’s left is pretty poor lemonade.  Yet I understand Lord Baden-Powell’s original imperative:  “A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.”

Although it has been endlessly parodied, we are better off in this nasty, short and brutish life if we look at the lighter side.  Life can be difficult enough, why make it any more unpleasant?

What does it hurt to offer a smile to the world?  A Scout is cheerful, after all.