Scoutmaster Minutes Starting with the Letter "P"
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Principle and Honor
A very long time ago there lived a man in ancient Greece called Socrates. Socrates had an incredible mind and spent his life seeking truth. He was a great teacher of honor and principle and was a genius in the area of rational logic. Socrates once created a functioning government in his mind by using conversation with other people and applying logic with it. These conversations were recorded by one of his students named Plato. The story is called "The Republic" and it is considered one of the masterpieces of human literature. Thomas Jefferson and others used much of it when they created the government of the United States in 1776.
Socrates, because he would never lie, made enemies in his home of Athens, Greece. He was brought to trial on trumped up charges and found guilty and sentenced to die by drinking a poison called hemlock. Socrates could have left the country and lived but reasoned that he knew the laws of Athens and still chose to live there and therefore was honor bound to obey those laws and any judgements that came from them. In the end he drank the hemlock at the hour that he was supposed to and died.
Socrates lived a life of honor, principle and truth that few men have equaled. Each of you as you live your life needs to have a set of principles about right and wrong and a code of honor that helps you live those principles. The Ten Commandments, the Scout Oath and Law are a good place to start. As you lay in your tent tonight think about what principles you should use to guide your life and the decisions you make. Then stick to them as you live your remaining days.
13. Planting Seeds
If I gave you a choice, which would you rather have, the apple or the seeds? I guess most of us would choose the apple.
A long time ago there was a guy who would have taken the seeds. He was a nut about apple seeds - so much so that people called him Johnny Appleseed. For many years he walked across hundreds of miles of our country, back when most of it was frontier land, and everywhere he went he planted apple seeds. The trees from those seeds fed many thousands of people in later generations. That's real long range planning!
Many of us are interested mainly in the present. We don't think ahead like Johnny Appleseed.
Maybe you don't want to go around planting apple seeds like he did. But there's another kind of seed you should be planting every day - the seed of good feelings between you and your fellow man.
You can do it by living our slogan, "Do a Good Turn daily. " Every time you do a Good Turn , you are planting a seed of good feeling. That seed may start the growth of a tree of Good Turns in each person you help. So that one Good Turn may lead to many other Good Turns through the years, affecting the lives of hundreds of people.