A scout is thrifty. He does not wantonly destroy property. He works faithfully, wastes nothing, and makes the best use of his opportunities. He saves his money so that he may pay his own way, be generous to those in need, and helpful to worthy objects.
He may work for pay but must not receive tips for courtesies or good turns.That is a manly virtue. You might miss that because thrift, as it used to be described when I was a boy, can be pretty girly. I say "when I was a boy" because nobody talks about thrift anymore. Probably because it became such a girly virtue.
It became girly because thrift came to mean crap like saving wrapping paper, finding new uses for elastic bands and being the sort of busybody who makes everybody wait while they get out a pen and paper or a calculator out to work everyone's exact share when it's time to pay the bill at a restaurant.
But look at that text and see this: "He saves his money so that he may pay his own way, be generous to those in need, and helpful to worthy objects." That's old-fashioned manliness.
All of that "thrift" is about spending or giving away money! This may see contradictory if you're used to girly thrift, but manly thrift is a big, generous, overflowing virtue.
I'll continue this by going somewhere that might seem weird. A while ago we had a crazed, wanna-be terrorist shoot one of the soldiers standing guard at the national war memorial. Here's how an article in the latest issue of Anglican Journal starts:
As Canadians grappled with how to respond to the unprecedented violence that rocked Ottawa and the rest of Canada Oct. 22, the Anglican Journal asked leadership within the Anglican Church of Canada to reflect on the role of the church in troubled times.I have a crazy suggestion. How about we respond by doing nothing at all?
Nothing happened to us! A good man, who'd dedicated his career to serving his country was killed. His family are devastated. But we suffered nothing. We should do nothing.
That is very unthrifty and very umanly writing. It's full of empty words. For starters, what was "unprecedented" about this violence? And was Ottawa, indeed the whole country, "rocked" by a senseless killing? Yeah, I wish that these things didn't happen but do you know what, they do happen. They happen all the time. If you were rocked by it, you're worthless bit of jello masquerading as a man. Get over yourself. This wasn't about you.
We think of thrift as an economic concept but it's an emotional thing at base. An impulse buy is an emotional response. On strictly economic grounds, we already know it's a bad idea to make the impulse buy. We do it anyway because we haven't learned to manage our emotions.
Manage doesn't mean to suppress. It means to have the right kind of emotions, at the right time, in the right way.
Think about big gestures. What's the difference between a big gesture that comes of as manly, magnanimous or meaningful and one that comes off as trying to prove something, defensive or empty?
He works faithfully, wastes nothing, and makes the best use of his opportunities.