Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A scout's virtues: Friendly

Well, there had to be one weenie one.
A scout is friendly: He is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout.
As we used to say when I was a student, want to time me on this one?

Actually, I'll just assume that you can see the problems.

What I'd rather discuss is the necessary exclusiveness of friendship. The virtue hiding here, and there is one, lies in the fact that friendship is something special, is something you don't give to everyone. And every boy/man should not only be able to be a good friend but actually be one.

(The "friendly"above could only mean "behaving like a friend", as opposed to actually being one.)

That's a hard sell on a list of virtues appropriate to an organization such as the boy scouts.  Friendships are not only exclusive, they are also private. And they are based on a desire for self improvement. A friend should challenge and even threaten you a bit.

And yet, friendship, as we'll see when I get to Rudyard Kipling's Kim later, friendship is a huge part of the scouting ethos.

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