A Final Note To The Men Of 47
It is customary over here to write letters to the SONS or the Little Black Dress on certain days – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. A chance to instill a little life lesson material I still haven’t nailed down myself.
Recently, we had our final campout with the Men of 47, a group of boys whom I had the privilege of leading as cubmaster. I thought about giving them some final pearls of life wisdom at the award ceremony, then thought better of it.
It just didn’t seem the time for some old coot to try to give life lessons when everyone was starving to eat and there was the whole “nega-pile” to play in.
So I waited.
And now is the time, so here it is.
Dear Men of 47:
I want to pass on a few final thoughts.
Some of these may be way over your head right now. But as you travel down the road of life and hit a bump or two or wonder which fork to take, hopefully the following will help serve as a roadmap.
Honor your name
Your name is the only thing you bring into this world. And it will be the main thing on your tombstone.
How you got your name is irrelevant. The important thing is it is yours and yours alone. Everything you do in life, how people remember you, will be based on your name.
Sign your name
By this, I mean to follow the Scout motto – Do Your Best. Be willing to sign your name to any and every thing you do. Signing your name means you are telling everyone that this is your best. That you stand by it.
Keep your word
It sounds simple, but unfortunately, it is becoming a lost art. It means what it says – if you say you will do something, do it. Do it because you said you would, even if you realize it might cost you time or money or you got in over your head.
And with that said, be careful in giving your word. Do not over-commit. A real man keeps his word; so keep yours.
Find your Sams
Sams are true friends. They are the ones who stand beside you with swords drawn as you face your dragons. They are with you at the mountaintop of success, but also bring a flashlight when you are in the darkest valley. They will speak the truth in your life when no one else will, and even when you don’t want to hear it.
You will be judged by your friends. Make sure they are Sams.
And how do you find people like this? Easy.
Be a Sam to others.
In your life, your job, your hobbies; in everything you do. Anyone can learn a skill, what sets the best apart from the rest is their passion. They put everything they have into whatever it is they are doing. Passion cannot be taught, it’s something you have to decide to do.
Find God’s purpose for your life, then do it
You are either descended from apes or some bacteria, or you were created by the Master of the Universe. You decide.
God has given you unique gifts and talents for a reason – to fulfill His plan for your life. . You are here for a purpose. Find it. Do it.
Choose quality over quantity
There is a saying that the man with the most toys in the end, wins. It’s a crock. Stuff is stuff. You will not take it with you.
Never settle for second-best. It is not about how much you have. It’s about how good what you have is.
Learn the power of a handwritten note
We are flooded with a myriad of electronic communication. It’s too easy now, whether a text or e-mail. No one writes letters anymore. And that is why a handwritten note is so important – because it takes time and thought.
Get some letterhead with your name at the top. And then use it.
Learn to say no
There is a big difference between being busy and being productive. Multi-tasking simply means you are doing several things at once and not getting anything done. Finish one thing before you start another.
Time is the one thing in life you cannot replace or replenish. How you spend your time says more about you than anything other than how you spend your money. Do not overextend, over promise or over do.
If you don’t have the time, then learn to say no.
We are too busy being busy. We run from here to there and back again. It is called the rat race for a reason.
Learn to stop. Learn to take time for yourself. Learn that doing nothing is sometimes the most important thing you can do.
Just flip the dog
Sometimes you hit a wall. The way things have always been done don’t work any more.
A wall simply means you can’t go forward. There is nothing that says you can’t go to the left, to the right, or maybe just turn around and go down a completely different path.
Simply because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
Dance with your wife in the kitchen
Your spouse will be the most important person in your life. She will know you better than anyone – your dreams, your hopes, your fears, your disappointments. Cherish her. Honor her.
And every now and then, just take the time to stop; stop and hold her and do a slow dance in the kitchen.
It’s been a pleasure gentlemen,