A Scout is taught to keep his body and mind fit and clean. He surrounds himself with others who celebrate and practice a similar foundation. He does his best to keep his home, his community and his nation clean.
When you’re young, cleanliness comes in small doses. It means washing your hands, brushing your teeth, refraining from bad language….and basically resisting everything all young boys get into. More than anything, it’s mom and dad who help regulate your level of cleanliness. In most cases, they also help guide you towards friends who will be positive influences. When you’re young, that makes all the difference in the world!
I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood. I hit the lottery with my parents, and I was lucky enough to live in a nice town with similar families and a good school system. One of the things I’m most grateful for is that my parents got me involved with scouts at a young age. It really helped build and solidify my foundation, and it allowed me to surround myself with likeminded, wonderful kids. I can honestly say that the vast majority of the other boys I met in Boy Scouts were great influences, wonderful mentors, and all around good people. Much of who and what I am today is because of those young men I spent so much time with at a child.
“You show me your friends, and I will show you your future.”
I heard this quote somewhere, and it instantly hit me. It’s very accurate, and in my experience, it comes true more often than not.
Fast forward twenty years.
Today, I still have the same family, but I’ve added to it. I still have many of the same friends, and I’ve added to that group. The thing that has remained constant for me is that I surround myself with good and decent people. I prefer to keep my life clean. It’s much easier, and more simple that way. Life can get complicated on its own. If you have the chance to willingly keep it simple and clean, to me, that’s an easy decision.
Cleanliness doesn’t equate to boring. You can live a fun, adventurous and exciting life, but by choosing to be clean of mind, body and spirit, you will eliminate many of the complications that surround and infect so many people. There is so much darkness and evil out there, and by choosing to avoid it and not allowing it invited access into your life, you’re greatly reducing the chance that it can find you and affect you.
I’m very grateful that I was taught this, and given this gift as a young boy.