WHAT THE SCOUT LAW MEANS TO ME
by John Wayne
A great American, John Wayne, passed away many years ago. One of his last public appearances was at a dinner to benefit a land purchase for a Scout Reservation called John Wayne Outpost Camp. He was riddled with cancer and knew he was close to death.
Wayne recited the Scout Law; then he said, “The twelve points of the Scout Law are ‘nice words’. Trouble is, we learn them so young we sometimes don’t get all the understanding that goes with them. I take care of that in my family. As each boy reaches Scout age, I make sure he learns the Scout Law. Then I break it down for him.” Wayne proceeded to explain the importance of the Scout Law and breaking it down for the guests.
“Trustworthy: The badge of honesty. Having it lets you look any man in the eye. Lacking it, he won’t look back. Keep this one at the top of your list.”
“Loyal: The very word is life itself, for without loyalty we have no love of person or country.”
“Helpful: Part sharing, part caring. By helping each other we help ourselves, not to mention mankind. Be always full of help – the dying man’s last words.”
“Friendly: Brotherhood is part of that word. You can take it in a lot of directions – and go – but make sure and start with brotherhood.”
“Courteous: Allow each person his human dignity which means a lot more than saying, “yes ma’am and “thank you sir”. It reflects an attitude that later in life you wish you had honored more, earlier in life. Save yourself that problem; do it now.”
“Kind: This one word would stop wars and erase hatreds. But it’s like your bicycle, it’s just no good unless you get out and use it”.
“Obedient: Starts at home. Practice it with your family. Enlarge it in your friends. Share it with humanity.”
“Cheerful: Anyone can put on a happy face when the going is good. The secret is to wear it as a mask for your problems. It might surprise you how many others do the same thing.”
“Thrifty: Means a lot more than putting pennies away, and it is the opposite of cheap. Common sense covers it just about as well as anything.”
“Brave: You don’t have to fight to be brave. Millions of good, fine, decent folks show more bravery than heavy-weight champs just by getting out of bed every morning, going out to do a good day’s work and living the best life they know how against the law of odds.”
“Clean: Soap and water help a lot on the outside. But it is the inside that counts and don’t ever forget it.”
“Reverent: Believe in anything that you want to believe in, but keep God at the top of it. With Him, life can be a beautiful experience. Without Him, you are just biding time.”