A story tells of a teenager getting bullied and joining a martial arts academy to be a good fighter. He poured his heart into his training, moved through the ranks, and did well in tournaments. After six years of hardwork, the young man passed his blackbelt test. While he was proud of his accomplishment, one thing haunted him. He had never been in a real fight. He knew where the rough side of town was and decided to take a new route to the dojo each evening to train. Each time he walked through the neighborhood he hoped to encounter someone who would give him trouble. For months he would follow the routine of going through the rough part of town but no one seemed to want to start something. Finally, on his way home from the dojo on a Friday night a group of young men stopped him and started to give him a hard time. When it was over, he was bumped and bruised, but he was also the only man standing. Instead of feeling victory, an unexpected sense of regret washed over the young man as he stood, surrounded by people writhing in pain at his hand. The next morning, the anguish he felt had not left him from the night before. He walked into the dojo and put on the white belt he knew he deserved.
“One day I looked for my enemies and I couldn’t find any friends. So the next day I looked for my friends and I couldn’t find any enemies.”
-Lipan Dine Saying
Like the man in the story, we find in our adolescents, the need to prove ourselves. We also find that need bringing us to places of humility, regret, and ultimately empathy. These stages of growth empower our skills as a scout as we grow through them. The mind of the adolescent scout houses the desire to be the ultimate woods ninja. The mind of the mature scout is to manifest bounty for that which you love. Both are borne of equal passion. Both use the same skills. The young warrior hones his or her body into a finely tuned instrument of tracking, awareness, and mobile survival and seeks tests and actual missions. The older scout lives their life fully as their mission. They provide the structure and construct for the young ones growth. The young fuel the inspirational furnace of the Scout mind with their eager pursuit of skills and their application. In each case the love of the people, the land, etc, is the primary platform of operations. With youth comes passion, recklessness, and destruction. With age comes the knowledge of the cost of such things and a desire to find more beneficial approaches and applications. The Scout is always the last to “pick up the lance”. It is an admission of failure. However, if one is forced to fight, then they better make it home.
Our Scout standard extends this concept in that, if one has found themselves in a conflict, the outcome should be the making of a new productive relationship, if not friendship, at the end of the altercation.