Back when my son earned the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout rank, I received a congratulatory email that was cloudy. You know the kind—good job but you’re wrong, off track, barking up the wrong tree, etc…. The email closed with this comment, the Boy Scouts are outdated, old fashioned and irrelevant.
Well this is an opinion isn’t it? We know better. This comment is someone’s assumption.
I believe leadership; the kind the Boy Scouts of America instills has nothing to do with fashion or trends. It’s more a fabric, structure or framework that holds everything and everyone together.
I further believe that this foundational leadership is what is most needed right now, today. It is a solution.
For example, if we arm citizens and schoolteachers to address the rise in hate crimes that would be a patch or a Band Aid. We can’t call that a solution. Solutions are answers that work at the level of cause. They eliminate problems.
To address the level of cause of our current hate problem we need to work with the troubled individuals who law enforcement most encounter, preferably before they are conditioned toward hate.
This is what the Boy Scouts of America does and it is highly relevant. Their kind of leadership builds strong youth who are well adjusted.
This need is not new. Around the end of the Civil War, Frederick Douglass encountered a group of haters who were physically and verbally offensive about the “wrong” outcome of the war. He compassionately viewed these men as “broken” and that is how his quote; it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men, originated.
As a culture we have neglected to build, enabled the breaking and we complain about the cost and commitment of the repair.
Now is the time to finally commit to the building through a leadership solution that will build and build and eliminate the tear down effect.
It is imperative that we start with a new, different question.
When we see miss-guided anger, hate or broken people, ask, not what’s wrong with you but rather, what happened to you?