Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wanted: Lifetime Boy Scouts

The saddest thing about our politicians is when they grow old they forget everything they have learned from scouting and that includes you and me, ordinary citizens of the republic. My first scouting experience was way back 1972 when I joined the delegates from San Jose Area to the Provincial Camporee held near Calawagan River in Paluan. I was donning a Beatles hairdo Grade IV pupil then of Bubog Elementary School.

The Boy Scout Oath says: “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” Before we went for the camporee our scout masters from Pilot Elementary School headed by Mr. Herminio Guinto and Godofredo Sevilla from San Roque II Elementary School explain the meaning of the Oath now almost forgotten by me. They have inculcated to us that our family and religious leaders teach us to know and serve God. By following these teachings, we have the duty to God. “Morally straight” means, according to them, is to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.

For sure, each of us has a story to recollect and tell about our scouting experience.

Judging from the political context of Occidental Mindoro today, we must re-learn what the “morally straight” thing in the Oath means, “To live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions”. True, we cannot be Boy Scouts until the rest of our lives but it is worthwhile that the scouting spirit live in our hearts until we are bound for our Eternal Jamboree in Heaven (For I am sure if we truly live life according to the Boy Scout spirit, we won't be burned in the Infinite Bonfire in you-know-where!).

It is only now I realized that I myself let die that gem of a scout spirit inside me. The mission of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) is to imbue in the youth the love of God, country, and fellow men to train young people to become responsible leaders and to contribute in nation-building. Elections should also teach our youngsters such things. Just like the BSP motto, let us all “be prepared” for the polls and be intelligent voters.

As a 10-year old boy that year during my Paluan experience, I have accomplished for the first time two major tasks: to tie knots and to build a fire. I must learn how to figuratively tie knots and build a fire all over again this coming May 13.

Since not all beautiful and attractive things are good and lawful, we have to separate each of the candidates and bundle them together by tying a good knot based on their stands on different socio-political issues in our midst rather than their personality. The scouts in us must realize that we ought to vote based on candidates’  records, what they have accomplished, their advocacy, program of government, principles and ideologies and if possible, their intentions and motives. Since politicians are like fire because they both bring disaster and benefits, it is important to master the fire. We will be turning our little sparks from rubbing stones or bamboo sticks into a huge flame and let it burn those unworthy bundle of barren, arrogant and pretentious stalks (read: politicians/candidates). Be prepared.

What we need is a bunch of timeless “Boy Scouts” and “Girl Scouts” (or even “Gay Scouts”, mind you!) in government who are aware that service is powerful. That politics is not just doing what the people want but also what the people really need. That good governance also focused on righteousness and humility rather than power and authority. It is about letting the people, even your critics, to realize the power in their hands. It is like scouting that is focus on something more relevant than just camp outs and merit badges and troop meetings. 

Scouting not unlike politics and religion or humanity itself, in its very essence is about serving others and not about personal or private gains especially family business...

(Photo : Tobspa.org)

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