Short Stories 3

Who’s to blame?

Once the frog fell in a vessel of the hot water. The Water was still on a gas stove. The frog still did not try to jump out of the vessel, instead just stayed in it. As the temperature of the water started to rise, the frog managed to adjust its body temperature accordingly. As the water started to reach the boiling point, the frog was no longer able to keep up and manage its body temperature according to the water temperature.
The frog tried to jump out of the vessel but with water temperature reaching its boiling point, the frog was not able to bear it and couldn’t make it. What was the reason that a frog couldn’t make it? Will you blame the hot water for it?
Moral: The frog couldn’t make it due to its own inability to decide when it had to jump out. We all need to adjust according to the situations but there are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action when we have the strength to do so before it’s too late. Walk out before you need to jump.

What is Greed?

A student asked his teacher, “What is Greed?” The teacher said, “In order to answer your question, go through the chocolate factory next to our school and pick the one chocolate you like the most. But there is a rule. As you pass through the factory, you can not turn back. You must pick the chocolate as you go forward only.”
The student went to the chocolate factory. As he walked through, He saw the one chocolate wrapped nicely, he instantly liked it but he wondered that he may find much bigger one further. So, He walked further, then he saw another chocolate. But again, he thought the same. When he started to reach near the end of the factory, he couldn’t see any chocolates as big as the one he didn’t pick earlier and started to regret his decision of letting it go.
Finally, he gave up. He went back to the teacher with an empty hand and gave an explanation of what he did.
The teacher told him, “You did like the one chocolate very much but still you kept looking for a bigger one. And later you realized that what you let go off was the best chocolate you could find there. That my dear is called Greed.”
Moral: We let go of many good things in our life because of our greed of having even better things. Our Human Nature is such that we always want better and better. But in the search of better, we let go of many good things which could have given us similar satisfaction and made us happy. Learn make your choice wisely.

Unnecessary Comparison

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.”
He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.” The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.”
The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”
The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days, I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.”
That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what God has given us.  This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness.  Learn to be happy in what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have.   There will always be someone who will have more or less than you have.  Person who is satisfied with what he/she has, is the happiest person in the world.

A Bundle of Sticks

If I were to take a long straight stick and put it over my knee, I could break it quite easily. If I took two, or maybe three, I would still be able to break them. If I took four or five, I would have to apply much more pressure, and try a whole lot harder to break them.
Now, imagine if I had a large bundle of sticks and tied them with a strong rope either end. No matter how hard I tried or how much pressure I put on them they would not break.
If you stop and think, a Scout Troop can be just like these sticks. Think of the Troop as a bundle of sticks that are tied together, only instead of rope we have our Law and Promise. It gives us the strength that binds us together.
One or two Scouts on their own can easily forget to be loyal to their Troop. When ragged by other boys or girls, it’s easy to be self-conscious, or even ashamed to be seen running round in strange cloths.
But, if they remember they are members of a whole Troop with the support of their Leaders, they will be like the bundle of sticks having the strength to stand up for what they believe in.
Source: Yarns for Cubs, June 1981

The Mirror

A long time ago in a remote village in China, there lived a merchant. It was his custom to go to the far off city once a year, and purchase the goods to bring back to sell to the people of the village and surrounding valley. The merchant had a son whom he trained to look after his business while he went on these long trips. For many years this was a very happy arrangement-the father went off to buy the goods, the son stayed home and sold them, and the people bought the things they needed.
The son married a beautiful young lady, and they were very happy. The merchant grew very old, and one day became extremely ill and died. So now the son had to go to the far off city to buy the goods. He started off and after some time he arrived at the city. He soon found the market-place and set about purchasing the goods he needed to take back with him.
As he walked from stall to stall something caught his eye. He picked it up. He was astounded; here in the middle of this distant city was a portrait of his father as a young man. What the son did not know was that he was looking into a mirror and the portrait he saw was actually his own reflection. So he bought the mirror and took it home for himself.
On arriving home he showed the mirror to his wife and when she looked into it she saw a lovely young women. Immediately she was very sad. Why would her husband bring home a portrait of another young women and why was he so excited about it? Surely the women must mean a lot to him. So the next day she took the mirror to the high priestess and told her story. The High Priestess, a very old lady had grown very old and wrinkled and was no longer nice to look upon. “I will put her away where she can do no harm.” she said.
Like the reflection in the mirror, what do people see when they look at our faces. Is it a happy face, bad tempered, scowling or a nice pleasant face? People always look at another face to see what kind of person they are. If you wear a happy face, people around you will feel happier. If you smile at someone, they will properly smile back at you.
When asked what he meant by doing a good turn, Lord Baden-Powell said, “To give someone a smile is one of the best things you can do.” To smile at someone really is a good turn you can do for them.

Working Together

Require:  24 matches and an elastic band.
“Scouts, you’ll notice that the matches in front of you stand easily when all bound together in the rubber band. But look at what happens when I try to stand them after removing the band.” (Let them all fall)
“Our Cub Troop/Pack is like this bunch of matches. As long as we can work together as a team, bound together by the ties of Scouting, we will stand as a strong Troop/Pack.”

“But, if we remove those ideals of Scouting and each Scout thinks only of him or herself, we’ll be like that bunch of matches when the rubber band was taken off.”

“As we all live up to the ideals of the Scout Law and Promise, we will wrap ourselves in a band that will strengthen our Pack and make sure that it stands for the things that make Scouting great.”

The Three Wishes

Once upon a time, there lived a woodman and his wife. They were very poor. Every day, the woodman would set out early in the morning to chop down trees in the forest in which they lived.

As the woodman was travelling through the forest one day, he saw a fine old oak tree. “That will make plenty of planks,” he thought, as he took his axe. But he had not given the tree one blow, when he heard someone crying out: “Please don’t hurt this tree.”
The woodman looked around him and saw a tiny fairy. “If you do not hurt this tree,” she said, “I will grant you and your wife three wishes.”
“I won’t hurt this tree,” said the woodman kindly. Then the fairy vanished! That evening, the woodman walked slowly home. He was feeling very hungry and could not wait for his supper.
How will the woodman use his wishes? Find out tomorrow.
“Is my supper ready?” the woodman asked his wife, when he arrived home.
“Not for at least two hours,” replied his wife.
“I wish I had a big black sausage to eat right now,” he said out loud. And suddenly, a delicious sausage appeared on the table before him.
“Where has that black sausage come from?” the woodman’s wife asked.
So the woodman told his wife the story about the fairy. But his wife was very angry. “You have wasted the first of our wishes,” she said crossly. “I wish that sausage was on your nose.”
And with that, the sausage jumped up and was stuck fast on the woodman’s nose! His wife could not pull it off and nor could he, so the only thing to do was to wish it on to the table again, which the woodman did.
What a waste of three wishes! The only thing the woodman and his wife had was a very good supper of black sausage.

The moral of this story is, be careful of what you say and think before you speak.

Chief’s  Last Message to Boy Scouts

Dear Scouts,
If you have ever seen the play “Peter Pan” you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have the time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of goodbye. Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.
I have had a most happy life and I want each and every one of you to have a happy life too. I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by selfindulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make

If you

  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation … you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

• If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death … you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

• If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep … you are richer than 75% of this world.

• If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace … you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

• If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful … you are blessed because the majority can, BUT MOST DO NOT!

• If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder … you are blessed because you can offer your support, AND EVERYONE NEEDS THE TOUCH OF A LOVED ONE, A FRIEND OR EVEN A STRANGER AT SOME TIME … EVERY DAY!!!

Geese flying formation

When geese fly in formation, they travel about 70% faster than when they fly alone.
Geese share leadership. When the lead goose tires, he (or she) rotates back into the “V” and another flies forward to become the leader.
Geese keep company with the fallen. When a sick or weak goose drops out of the flight formation, at least one other goose joins to help and protect.
By being part of a team, we too can accomplish much more, much faster. Words of encouragement and support help inspire and energize those on the front lines, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-today pressures and fatigue.
Finally, showing compassion and active caring for our fellow man — a member of the ultimate team: “MANKIND”.

The next time you see a formation of geese, remember that it is a reward, a challenge, and a privilege to be a contributing member of a team.

The Jar of life

You will need; A jar, rocks that will fit into the jar, pebbles, sand, water.

The Scout Leader stood in front of the Troop and had some items in front of him. He picked up a large empty glass jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2″ in diameter. He then asked the troop if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.
So the Leader then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the Pack again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
Then the Leader picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Naturally the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” said the Leader, “I want you to recognize that this is your life.
The rocks are the important things; your family, your grandparents, your friends and your health, your education – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are less important things, like your possessions, television, bicycle, and electronics. The sand is everything else – the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for all the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you”
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness and well-being. Enjoy and enhance your friendships with your family and friends. Take on activities with others. There will always be time for less important things like watching TV or working around the house. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
But then…
A young Scout stood up and asked the Troop if they were sure that the jar was truly full. All the Pack agreed that it was indeed full. When they had all agreed, the Scout reached into his backpack and pulled out a canteen of water.
He poured the contents into the already “full” jar. Of course the water filled the remaining spaces within the jar making the jar truly full.

Which proves that no matter how full your life is, there should always be room for the basic ingredients of life and nature.


You can either read this as a story, maybe giving each Scout a colour and a section to read to read, or you could incorporate the below activity.
Materials needed for each person involved with the ceremony:
– 1 Strip of leather about 7 inches long
– 1 pony bead of each colour: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
– Colour streamers can either be attached to walls or placed on the floor where the colours are to stand—for a nice touch.

Stand in a circle and were handed the thin strips of leather. As different people read the different colours, we were given the same colour pony bead and put it on our leather strip in order. When the last person was reading from ‘And so the colours went on boasting …’ we took our finished strip and tied it around the wrist of the person to our right. The beads were put on in the same order as the colours of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

Once upon a time the colours of the world started a quarrel: all claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favourite.

RED shouted out: “I am the ruler of all of you —I am blood—life’s blood! I am the colour of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the colour of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy.”

ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet: “I am the colour of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangos, and papaws. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”
YELLOW chuckled: “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.”
GREEN said: “Clearly, I am the most important. I am the sign of life and hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves—without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”
BLUE interrupted: “You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, all of you would be nothing.”
INDIGO spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: “Think of me. I am the colour of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me, all of you become superficial. I  represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”
VIOLET rose to her full height. She was very tall and spoke with great pomp: “I am the colour of loyalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me—they listen and obey.”
And so the colours went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly, there was a startling flash of bright lightning…thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colours crouched down in fear, drawing closer to one another for comfort.
In the midst of the clamour, rain began to speak: “You foolish colours, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don’t you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me.”
Doing as they were told, the colours united and joined hands. The rain continued: “From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of colour as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of friendship and hope for tomorrow.”
And so, whenever the rain washes the world, look up… and as the rainbow appears in the sky, let us all remember our friendships new and old… and that tomorrow is always a new day.”
Source: Theresa Rose, volunteer, Rio Grande Girl Scout Council

The Cord

Before heading out to your chosen spot for you Scouts Own, all Cubs, Leaders, Helpers are given a rope.  Each person then ties their rope with a reef knot to the next person’s rope and then the next and so on, until we have one long length of rope.
Then everyone including all adults form one line behind the leader, each with their left hand on the length of rope.
Have an adult every 4 Scouts or so & one adult on the end of the rope.
The Leader then leads the line to the chosen area for the Scouts Own and walks around until everyone is in a circle.
The Leader will then join both ends of the rope together to form the rope into a circle

Leader:  – Now we have a circle. A circle of friendship. A circle that is just the same as the World Scout Emblem that we all wear on our uniforms.  It shows that we are all members of the family of the World Scout Movement.   The knots symbolises the strength of the unity of the World Scout Movement and our pack/troop

Poem to be read in turn by leaders and helpers;

Reader 1: The Cord We are connected, Both you and I,  By an invisible cord Not seen by the eye.

Reader 2: It’s not like this cord That connects us on earth This cord can’t been seen By any on Earth.

Reader 1: This cord does it’s work Right from the start. It binds us together Attached to our hearts.

Reader 2: I know that it’s there though no one can see The invisible cord From you to me.

Reader 1: The strength of this cord Is hard to describe. It can’t be destroyed It can’t be denied.

Reader 2: It’s stronger than any cord Man could create It withstands the test Can hold any weight.

Reader 1: And when you are gone, And  you’re not here with me, The cord is still there But no one can see.

Reader 2: I am thankful that God connects us this way Our Leaders & our Friends nothing can take it away!


This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen. It’s an explanation other people will understand.

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.

When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.”

“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.

“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.”

The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument.

The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”

“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”

“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”

“Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me.”  “Exactly!”- affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don’t go to Him and do not look for Him. That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.”

Children all over the world

Children are children all over the world  They share the same big sky of blue  They share the same sun and the wind and the rain  The moon, and the same stars as you  They find games to play, just like you, everyday  They have birthdays and holidays, too  Did you ever think children all over the world  Are just little children like you?

Diversity and Pluralism

Pass out a new penny to each person and explain:
Pluralism and diversity are sides of the same coin in Scouting.
The “tails” side stands for all of the many ways we are different from each other; culture, hair color, religion, ethnic background, and so on. It stands for everything that makes us individuals in our lives and Scouting. This is diversity.The “heads” side of the coin stands for how we bring those individual differences together in Scouting and other areas of our lives to enrich and work for the same goals in this organization. This is pluralism.

So when you put this penny in your pocket or purse, or when you see a penny, it will remind you of the definitions of diversity and pluralism.
• Do Good. Do all the good you can,
• By all the means you can,  In all the ways you can,
• In all the places you can,  At all the times you can,
• To all the people you can,  As long as ever you can.

Everybody’s Canoe

A young Indian brave was busy at work carving a canoe out of a log. As he worked, members of the tribe passed by. Everybody had a piece of advice to offer the young man.
“I think you are making your canoe too wide,” one of them said. The young brave, wishing to show respect for the advice of an elder, narrowed down the canoe.
A little later, another warrior stopped by. “I’m afraid you are cutting the stern too full,” he said. Again, the young brave listened to his elder and cut down the stern.
Very soon, yet another member of the tribe stopped, watched awhile, then said, “The bow is too sheer.” The young brave accepted this advice as well and changed the line of the bow.

Finally the canoe was complete and the young brave launched it. As soon as it hit the water, it capsized. Laboriously he hauled it back onto the beach. Then he found another log and began to work anew.

Very soon, a member of his tribe stopped by to offer some advice, but this time the young brave was ready. “See that canoe over there?” he asked, pointing to the useless craft on the beach. “That is everybody’s canoe.” Then he nodded at the work in progress. “This one,” he said, “is my canoe”.

For the Campfire

The life of a fire is like the life of a person. In its infancy, it is faint and weak and must be carefully nourished and tended. As it catches, it crawls and spreads like a child exploring its world. In its adolescence, it flares fast and bright, racing for new height. Soon, it will burn with the steady heat and light of its adulthood.

A fire, in its later life, goes dim. No longer does it have the fierce brightness of its youth. Still, it gives a gentle, steady warmth, just as an elderly man or woman shares the warmth of understanding and the steadiness of experience.
And, this is a fact of life: all things must die. The memory of those passed on lives deep and dear in our hearts. This fire will fade to cold ash, but its flame will glow in our memory.
Source: Greybeard

The Four Immeasurable Vows

May everyone have happiness and be the causes of happiness; this is immeasurable kindness;
May all things be liberated from suffering and the causes of suffering; this is immeasurable compassion;
May everyone be free from sadness and always stay happy; this is immeasurable joy;
May everyone be free of hate toward others, and develop faith in the equality of everyone; this is immeasurable fellowship
Source: Buddhism


Friendship  I don’t want to change you;  You know better than I what is best for you:  I don’t want you to change me;  I only want you to accept me and respect my way;  Then our friendship will be rich,  Based on reality, not a dream.
13th century Chinese thought

The Gift of the Trees

We all know (don’t we?) that happiness comes from giving to others.
Long ago, when the Great Spirit first put human beings on earth, people were concerned and afraid. “Where will we find food and water?” they asked. The trees laughed softly. “We are your sisters,” they said. “We will help you.”
The maple tree spoke up: “I will give you sweet water to drink and make into sugar.” The elm tree said, “Use my soft bark to make your baskets and tie them together with my tough cords.” The hickory tree said, “My cousins and I will fill your baskets with sweet nuts.” And she called the chestnut, beech, and walnut to help. The great pine tree whispered softly, “When you get tired, I will make you a bed. My cousins the balsam and cedar will help me.”
There was sunshine in the people’s hearts as they set out to explore their new world. But soon they came to a deep, wide river. “How will we ever cross the river?” they asked. The trees laughed and laughed. “Take my white skin,” said the birch. “Sew it together with the cords of the elm tree and you can make a boat that will carry you across the widest river.”
When the sun crossed the sky to his lodge in the west, the people felt cold. Then the balsam fir tree whispered, “Good people, there is much sunfire in my heart. Rub my branches together and you will make a fire.” So the people made fire. And that night they slept soundly on the branches of the great pine tree. The north wind blew cold, but there was sunshine in the hearts of the people.  Now when children ask how they can repay the friendship of the trees, a wise person answers, “They do not ask for payment. But you can give trees your care and attention. You can give love and care to every plant and flower—that makes your life beautiful.”

A Scout Garden

How to you get a Scout troop/group going?  ….You plant one!
First, plant five rows of Peas:  Preparedness,  Promptness,  Perseverance,  Politeness, Praise
Then, plant five rows of Lettuce:  Let us be open, Let us be honest, Let us be understanding, Let us be unselfish, Let us help one another
Next to them, plant four rows of Squash:  Squash indifference, Squash negativism, Squash intolerance, Squash complacency
No garden is complete without Turnips:  Turn up for meetings, Turn up with determination, Turn up with new ideas
But without many hours of work and care no troop can grow.
Without the help of every member, the Scout ‘garden’ will turn to weeds:
• Don’t wait to be asked—ask for it!
• Don’t say I can’t—do it!
• Don’t wait for someone else—be first!
Build the soil, pull the weeds, and reap the harvest.

Global Interdependence

Lets be fanciful for a moment and demonstrate our global interdependence by considering the doings of a hypothetical citizen:
His day begins as he steps out of his pyjamas—a garment which originated in Thailand, and he washes with soap invented by the ancient French. He shaves, an activity first developed by the ancient priests of Iraq and made a little less unpleasant by the use of a razor made of steel, an iron-carbon alloy discovered in Turkestan. Then, down to breakfast. The table cloth is made of cotton from Uganda and the cutlery of South African or Zimbabwe chrome, nickel from Canada and vanadium from Peru. A cup of Indian tea or Kenyan coffee, a slice of Danish bacon, an egg from poultry which has been raised on food imported from any of thirty countries from Iceland and Chile to Japan, and he’s ready to go.
Our subject then dons a close-fitting suit, a form of dress native to Iran; he then adjusts his tie, which is, of course, the remnant of a shoulder shawl from Croatia. Then, complete with hat that originated in Korea, and umbrella, invented by the Chinese, he will dash for the train, which the British invented. He then pauses to buy a newspaper using coins which first made their appearance in ancient Turkey. Then he settles back to scan today’s news—which will be set out in Arabic characters on a Chinese invention of paper, by means of a German printing process. He’ll snort with disgust at the antics of those dreadful foreigners, and thank a Hebrew God in a Indo-European language that he is 100 per cent—a decimal system invented by the Greeks—a speaker of English, a word of course derived from Angle, a district in Holland.
But if his ancestors had really been minding their own business all those centuries, our subject could then have cut a dashing figure in a wolf-skin with a face covered in hair.
There is no escaping the fact that we are hopelessly indebted to all mankind for the very sinews of our life. A thousand tiny filaments join us to every race under the sun.

If a Child Lives With…

If a child lives with:
• Criticism, she learns to condemn;
• Hostility, she learns to fight;
• Ridicule, she learns to be shy;
• Shame, she learns to feel guilty.
But if a child lives with:
• Tolerance, she learns to be patient;
• Praise, she learns to appreciate;
• Fairness, she learns justice;
• Security, she learns to have faith;
• Approval, she learns to like himself;
• Acceptance and friendship,
Then the child learns to find love in the world.

If the Earth were only a few metres in diameter

If the Earth were only a few metres in diameter, floating a few metres above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. People would walk around it, marvelling at its big pools of water, its little pools, and the water flowing between the pools. People would marvel at the bumps on it and the holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball and at the creatures in the water.
The people would declare it as sacred because it was the only one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come to pray to it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty, and to wonder how it could be. People would love it and defend it with their lives because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the Earth were only a few metres in diameter…

I’m Special

I’m Special.  No-one looks like me, thinks acts or does anything like me.  I am unique.  No one has the talents I have, no-one feels like I do or reacts like I do.  I’m special.  Since this is so, and I’m special, then there must be a purpose for me, something in this life that I can do that no one else can.  I have a place, a special calling—because I’m special.  I need to think about what it might be.

Indian Blessing of the Four Winds

O Great Spirit:  Bless us from the North with the cool winds that calm our passions  Bless us from the East with the winds that bring and renew life  Bless us from the South with the warm wet winds that invite growth  Bless us from the West with the winds that lead us through this life to the next  Fill the sky so that we may sense Your presence  And bless us from Mother Earth from which we have come and to whom we shall return.

Lessons learned

No matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.  It takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.  It’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.  You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that you’d better know something.  You shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do but to the best you can do.  It’s not what happens to people that’s important. It’s what they do about it.  No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.

It’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.  It’s a lot easier to react than it is to think.  You should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.  You can keep going long after you think you can’t.  We are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.  Either you control your attitude or it controls you.  Heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.  Learning to forgive takes practice.  There are people who love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.

My best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.  Sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down may be the ones to help you get back up.  I’m getting more and more like my grandma, and I’m kind a happy about it.  Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.  True friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.  Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.  No matter how good a friend someone is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.  It isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.  Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.  Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.  Your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.

Life’s Lessons Learned, by Age Level

• Age 4 I’ve learned that you can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
• Age 6  I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”.
• Age 7  I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
• Age 9  I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up.
• Age 12  I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
• Age 13  I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
• Age 15  I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
• Age 24  I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.
• Age 25  I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.
• Age 29  I’ve learned…that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live, so that no one will believe it.
• Age 39  I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it. Age 41 I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little card.
• Age 44  I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others.
• Age 45  I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
• Age 46  I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours.
• Age 49  I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
• Age 52  I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
• Age 53  I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
• Age 58  I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage.
• Age 61  I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
• Age 62  I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers glove on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
• Age 64  I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
• Age 65  I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
• Age 66  I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.
• Age 72  I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I’ve seen several.
• Age 73  I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
• Age 82  I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
• Age 85  I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 92

Like a Spider’s Web

Peace is like a spider’s web,  Vulnerable yet indestructible;
Tear it and it will be rewoven;  Peace does not despair.
Begin to weave a web of peace;  Start in the centre  And make peace with yourself  And your God;
Take the thread outwards  And build peace within your family,  Your community,
And in the circle include those you find hard to like;  Then stretch your concern into all the world.  Weave a web of peace and do not despair.

Our Diverse World

If we could at this time shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 1000 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:
There would be
• 584 Asians, 124 Africans, 95 Europeans, 84 Latin Americans, and 52 North Americans.
• 165 would speak Mandarin, 86 would speak English, 83 Hindu, 64 Spanish, 58 Russian, and 37 Arabic.
• Half of the village would consist of people who speak one of at least 207 other languages.
• 329 people would be Christian, 178 Moslem, 132 Hindu, and 62 Buddhist.
• The village would have 330 children and 60 people over the age of 65.
• Three-quarters of the wealth of the entire world would be in the hands of 200 people; another 200 people would only 2% of the world’s wealth.
• Seventy would own automobiles, about one-third would have access to clean, safe drinking water, and three of the people would die every year from lack of food.
• Twenty-eight babies would be born into the village each year and two would die.
• 335 of the adults would be unable to read or write; only 12 people would have a college education.
• There would be 5 soldiers, 7 teachers, 1 doctor, and three refugees from war.
• One person in the village would have an HIV infection that has not developed in to AIDS.
When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent.

Over the Top

– You are at the top when …
– You have made friends with your past, and you are focused on the present and optimistic about your future.
– You have the love of friends and the respect of your enemies.
– You are filled with faith, hope, and love, and you live without anger, greed, envy, or thoughts of revenge.
– You know that failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong.
– You are mature enough to delay gratification and shift your focus from your rights to your responsibilities.
– You love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged.
– You know that success (a win) doesn’t make you and failure (a loss) doesn’t break you.
– You can look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.
– You are secure in who (and whose) you are so you are at peace with God and in fellowship with man.
– You clearly understand that yesterday ended last night, and today is a brand new day–and it’s yours.
– You know that “he who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all”.
– You are pleasant to the grouch, courteous to the rude, and generous to the needy because you know that the long-term benefits of giving and forgiving far outweigh the short-term benefits of receiving.
– You recognize, confess, develop, and use your God-given physical, mental, and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind

Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty

It’s a crisp winter day in San Francisco. A woman in a red Honda, Christmas presents piled in the back, drives up to the Bay Bridge tollbooth. “I’m paying for myself, and for the six cars behind me,” she says with a smile, handing over seven commuter tickets.
One after another, the next six drivers arrive at the tollbooth, dollars in hand, only to be told, “Some lady up ahead already paid your fare. Have a nice day.”
The woman in the Honda, it turned out, had read something on an index card taped to a friend’s refrigerator: “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” The phrase seemed to leap out at her, and she copied it down.

Judy Foreman spotted the same phrase spray-painted on a warehouse wall a hundred miles from her home. When it stayed on her mind for days, she gave up and drove all the way back to copy it down. “I thought it was incredibly beautiful,” she said explaining why she’s taken to writing it at the bottom of all her letters, “like a message from above.”

Her husband, Frank, liked the phrase so much that he put it up on the wall for his seventh graders, one of whom was the daughter of a local columnist. The columnist put it in the paper, admitting that though she liked it, she didn’t know where it came from [sic] or what it really meant.
Two days later, she heard from Anne Herbert. Tall, blonde, and forty, Herbert lives in Marin, one of the country’s ten richest counties, where she house-sits, takes odd-jobs, and gets by. It was in a Sausalito restaurant that Herbert jotted the phrase down on a paper place mat, after turning it around in her mind for days.

“That’s wonderful!” a man sitting nearby said, and copied it down carefully on his own placemat.
“Here’s the idea,” Herbert says. “Anything you think there should be more of, do it randomly.”
Her own fantasies include:
(1) breaking into depressing-looking schools to paint the classrooms,
(2) leaving hot meals on kitchen tables in the poor parts of town,
(3) slipping money into a proud old woman’s purse.
Says Herbert, “kindness can build on itself as much as violence can.” Now the phrase is spreading, on bumper stickers, on walls, at the bottom of letters and business cards. And as it spreads, so does a vision of guerrilla goodness.

In Portland, Oregon, a man might plunk a coin into a stranger’s meter just in time. In Patterson, New Jersey, a dozen people with pails and mops and tulip bulbs might descend on a run-down house and clean it from top to bottom while the frail elderly owners look on, dazed and smiling. In Chicago, a teenage boy may be shovelling off the driveway when the impulse strikes. What the hell, nobody’s looking, he thinks, and shovels the neighbour’s driveway, too.  It’s positive anarchy, disorder, a sweet disturbance.

A woman in Boston writes “Merry Christmas!” to the tellers on the back of her checks. A man in St. Louis, whose car has just been rear-ended by a young woman, waves her away, saying, “It’s a scratch. Don’t Worry.”

Senseless acts of beauty spread: A man plants daffodils along the roadway, his shirt billowing in the breeze from passing cars. In Seattle, a man appoints himself a one man vigilante sanitation service and roams the concrete hills collecting litter in a supermarket cart. In Atlanta, a man scrubs graffiti from a green park bench.

They say you can’t smile without cheering yourself up a little — likewise, you can’t commit a random act of kindness without feeling as if your own troubles have been lightened if only because the world has become a slightly better place.

And you can’t be a recipient without feeling a shock, a pleasant jolt. If you were one of those rushhour drivers who found your bridge fare paid, who knows what you might have been inspired to do for someone else later? Wave someone on in the intersection? Smile at a tired clerk? Or something larger, greater? Like all revolutions, guerrilla goodness begins slowly, with a single act. Let it be yours.

Prayer for Camp

Lord, give us strength and patience to suffer the trials and problems of the coming day;
to forgive the mistakes of those at their first camp;
to comfort those who feel homesick;
to be friendly to each other when tempers fray;
to accept criticism when offered in a constructive manner;
to make the best of our time, whatever the weather;
to try to uphold the Scout Laws in all we do.

Right now somebody

Right now somebody:
• is very proud of you.
• is thinking of you.
• is caring about you.
• misses you.
• wants to talk to you.
• wants to be with you.
• hopes you aren’t in trouble.
• is thankful for the support you have provided.
• wants to hold your hand.
• hopes everything turns out all right.
• wants you to be happy.
• wants you to find him/her.
• is celebrating your successes.
• wants to give you a gift.
• thinks that you ARE a gift.
• hopes you’re not too cold, or too hot.
• wants to hug you.
• loves you.
• admires your strength.
• is thinking of you and smiling.
• wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
• wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun.
• thinks the world of you.
• wants to protect you.
• would do anything for you.
• wants to be forgiven.
• is grateful for your forgiveness.
• wants to laugh with you.
• remembers you and wishes that you were there.
• needs to know that your love is unconditional.
• values your advice.
• wants to tell you how much they care.
• wants to share their dreams with you.
• wants to hold you in their arms.
• wants YOU to hold them in your arms.
• treasures your spirit.
• wishes they could STOP time because of you.
• praises God for your friendship and love.
• can’t wait to see you.
• loves you for who you are.
• loves the way you make them feel.
• wants to be with you.
• wants you to know they are there for you.
• is glad that you’re his/her friend.
• wants to be your friend.
• stayed up all night thinking about you.
• is alive because of you.
• is wishing that you noticed him/her.
• wants to get to know you better.
• wants to be near you.
• misses your advice/guidance.
• has faith in you.
• trusts you.
• needs you to send them a letter
• needs your support.
• needs you to have faith in them.
• will cry when they read this.
• needs you to let them be your friend.
• hears a song that reminds them of you.

Rules of Thumb

When you feel terrific, notify your face.  Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt, but it’s the only way to live life completely. Never take the last piece of food.  Never betray a confidence.  Don’t expect your love alone to make a neat person out of a messy one.
Never say anything uncomplimentary about another person’s dog.  Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, has lost something. When opportunity knocks, invite it to stay for dinner.  Use your past successes as a trampoline, not an easy chair.  Never lose your nerve, your temper, or your car keys.  Don’t let weeds grow around your dreams.  Never interrupt when you are being flattered.  Let some things remain mysterious.  Never be ashamed of laughter that’s too loud or singing that’s too joyful.  Every now and then, bite off more than you can chew.  When there’s a piano to be moved, don’t pick up the stool.
Be gentle with the earth.

Source: Life’s Little Instruction Book, Volume II written by H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Seven Steps to Stagnation

1. It’s never been done that way.
2. We’re not ready for that, yet.
3. We’re doing fine without it.
4. We’ve tried that before, and it didn’t work out.
5. It costs too much.
6. That’s not our responsibility/We’re not authorised to do it.
7. Experts say it won’t work.

Ten Commandments of Human Relations

1. Speak to people—there is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
2. Smile at people—it takes sixty-five muscles to frown, only fifteen to smile.
3. Call people by name—the sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of their own name.
4. Be friendly and helpful—if you would have friends, be friendly.
5. Be cordial—speak and act as if everything that you do is a real pleasure.
6. Be genuinely interested in people—you can like everybody if you try.
7. Be generous with praise—cautious with criticism.
8. Be considerate of the feelings of others—it will be appreciated.
9. Be thoughtful of the opinions of others—there are three sides to a controversy; yours, the other person’s, and the right one.
10. Be alert to give service—what counts most in life is what we do for others.

Ten Needs

1. To climb a mountain and to look afar.
2. To sit around an ember campfire, with good friends.
3. To test your strength and skill, on your own.
4. To be alone with your own thoughts and with God.
5. To be ready to reach out and find the hand of an understanding adult, ready and willing to help.
6. To have a code to live by—easily understood and fair.
7. A chance to play hard, just for the fun of it–and to work hard for the thrill of it.
8. To have a chance to fail–and know why.
9. To have and to be a good friend and to have a chance of proving both.
10. To have a hero, and a vision to measure her by.

The Traveller and the Tracker

Once a Traveller and a Tracker set out to explore the world together. As they wound their way through the wilderness, the Traveller was amazed at the Tracker’s habit of pausing several times a day to pray.

“Why do you pray to something intangible?” the Traveller asked. “How do you know there is a God?”
Now the Tracker was very skilled in noticing things and, through the years, had gained much insight reading the smallest signs. And he answered the Traveller this way:
“I know there is a God when I see the leaves turning yellow. I know there is a God when a trout jumps at a fly, and when grass waves in the dry wind. I know there is a God when clouds shade my head and the stars wink at night.”
“So you see,” said the Tracker, “I know there is a God, for I can see his footprints throughout the Universe.”

Truth is One

Truth is one: sages call it through various names,  It is the one sun who reflects in all the ponds,  It is the one water which slakes the thirst of all;  It is the one air which sustains all life;  It is the one fire which shines in all houses;  Colours of the cows may be different, but honey is the same;  Systems of faith may be different,  But truth is one.  As the rain dropping from the sky wends its way towards the ocean,  So the prostrations offered in all faiths reach the one.  The one who is supreme.
We look about us
[Useful in an open setting Scouts Own, use surroundings to fill out the lines, take your time and encourage the Scouts to look about themselves.]We look about us … and see the grass and trees …  We look about us … and see the blue sky and crystal waters …  We look about us … and see the birds and animals that live in this world with us …  We look about us … and see the camp where we have had so much fun ….  We look about us … and see our brothers (and sisters) in Scouting …  We look about us … and see God’s Hand everywhere

Short thoughts

• Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. – Hopi
• Day and night cannot dwell together. – Duwamish
• It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. – Apache
• All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them. – Arapaho
• Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand. – Tribe Unknown.
• Before eating, always take time to thank the food. – Arapaho
• When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. – Arapaho
• If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. – Arapaho
• Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves. – Assiniboine
• Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. – Blackfoot
• In age, talk; in childhood, tears. – Hopi
• What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. – Blackfoot
• When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. – Cherokee
• Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river. – Tuscarora
• The weakness of the enemy makes our strength. – Cherokee
• When the white man discovered America, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, women did all the work.  White man thought he could improve on a system like this. – Cherokee
• Poverty is a noose that strangles humility and breeds disrespect for God and man. – Sioux
• We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. – Dakota
• Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. – Cheyenne
• There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnakes tail. – Navajo
• Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. – Lakota
• Our first teacher is our own heart. – Cheyenne
• Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. – Maricopa
• All who have died are equal. – Comanche
• Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.  – Mohawk
• One rain does not make a crop. – Creole
• Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same. – Crow
• What the people believe is true. – Anishinabe
• You already possess everything necessary to become great. – Crow
• You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. – Navajo
• One finger cannot lift a pebble. – Hopi
• Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark. – Cheyenne
• All dreams spin out from the same web. – Hopi
• He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone. – Seneca
• Even a small mouse has anger. – Tribe Unknown
• If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove. – Cheyenne
• Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. – Tribe Unknown
• The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. – Hopi
GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner