The Scout Law Revisited: Cheerful

A Scout is taught to look on the bright side of things. He does his best to see the positive in people and in life. He cheerfully completes tasks that are assigned to him, and he tries to make those around him happy.

Sometimes, this is easier said than done.

When you are young, you love pleasing those around you: Your parents, your friends, your teachers. There is a simple joy in making those around you happy, and you take pleasure in making others smile and respond in a positive way to you. Your whole existence revolves around being happy, and trying to receive happiness from others. It’s so beautiful, and so simple.

As we get older, we lose a lot of that attitude…at least most of us. We become distracted by responsibilities of the world, and we get buried in stress and the complexity of our modern adult lives. The simplicity of childhood melts away and recedes into the background. The idea of seeking happiness by making others happy becomes a foreign concept, or at the least, it takes a major back seat. Our cheer is often replaced by a strained distraction as we rush through our day looking to get everything done in the short time we’re given. We forget to stop and smell the roses, look at the beauty in life, and seek to make those around us happy by remaining cheerful.

A main concept from Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Looking back on my childhood and scouting days as an adult, I am reminded how beautiful it was to have this as your main daily concern. Are you happy, and are the people I love and care about happy? It’s unrealistic to think that will ever return to exactly how it was, but life has a wonderful way of allowing you new opportunities to return to these moments. As a teacher and a father, I see these moments constantly, and it affords you the opportunity to be cheerful, and revisit those happy childhood moments. There’s nothing like seeing the smile and sheer happiness of your child, or hear the laughter and elation of your students. It reminds you that life can be beautiful, and the simple things are the most beautiful in life.

For me, I am trying to constantly remind myself of these ideas. Sometimes, it’s easier said than done, We all have moments where we feel defeated. Between stress, responsibility and the complexities of different relationships, we become negative or feel defeated. But life is beautiful, and rich, and amazing. Every moment of it, even the hard moments. Injecting some cheer and happiness into your life just makes it so much easier to breathe.

The more cheerful we are, the longer we can live in those moments.

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