A Scout is Brave


Everyone is aware of whom Judas was. One of the apostles of Jesus Christ, Judas followed this man everywhere, speaking up for him, and sharing his news of forgiveness, salvation and that "higher than man" idea that to many people of that time, sounded really weird.

And then, two nights before Jesus was to be handed over to the authorities for a quick "trial" and public humilation and then a slow and painful execution between two local thieves, Jesus told the assembed group that "one among you will deny me" and "will turn your back on me".

We know whom that person was, what he was paid and why he did it. But let's think about this: what if Judas stood his ground and said "Yeah, I'm with the man, and no, I'm not going to hand him over to you. He's done too much good and besides, he's a friend."

You and I get this "no, I can't turn him in...he's a friend" deal all of the time. In my day, we called it "not narcing" on your friends. A "narc" in our day was the "fuzz" or the "cops"...short for "narcotics officer". By not "narcing" on your friends for whatever they did, you became "cool", "in", and perhaps "alive" in some places.

But Jesus knew that Judas would tell. Not because he was Jesus and was fulfilling part of his life's being, but because He knew that he was acting against the "rules and laws" of those times. See, being someone like Jesus in some places, telling people "weird stories" and going against the government of the time, placed you in some serious trouble with the local "narcs".

So, when Jesus announced that "Hey, I know that I've done some stuff here, and I won't feel bad if one of you...perhaps you, Judas...decide to "narc" on me...I will still love you all and will hope that you understand WHY I did what I did in sharing the story of our God to the people around here", He was telling the assembled group he was "ready to face the music".

As Scouts and Scouters, we do not have daily chances to save someone's life. I did only because I was at the right place at the right time and Somebody had their hand in it. Others whom have saved lives speak of the fright they had in "doing it right" after all of those years of Scout training that "didn't make sense" or "was a waste of an evening". Others relate just "doing it, not even thinking about what I was doing...it was what I was trained and rehearsed over and over and over again for."

We do have opportunties however, in protecting others from harm caused by stupidity. Stupidity in the forms of driving and drinking. In taking or breathing in chemicals not meant for our bodies or which does not correct a medical problem. In performing sex with someone that you do not care about, let alone love. In doing stupid stuff because they or you were bored with "the same old stuff".

There's a difference between betrayal and bravery. When you betray someone, you have taken something FROM them. You have taken away a secret that the person confided in you with. You have taken their virginity when they were not ready nor you were...you "got caught up in the moment". You have removed something which makes them the person they are and without it, they --and you -- have a time coping. Those are all examples of betrayal.

Bravery, on the other hand, gives something TO someone or to a group. Life, when you save their's at some risk (or not) to your own. The Boy Scouts gives medals upon recommendation for such action.

What we do not give medals for are those other actions. Freedom, from constantly having to look over their back when walking or driving down a road because of some crime they have committed. Resolution, from the elimination of rumors or "stuff I've heard" about others. Help, in the way of trained people and peers that know what teens and adults go through just living. When you let others know of things which can endanger or even kill those you care about, you are NOT being a "Judas" nor a "narc". From your actions, you have proved your love and respect for those others instead of your "wanting to go with the crowd".

On my first date with a young lady named "George" (that's what she wanted everyone to call her; her real name was Joyce), she took me behind the JROTC building and wanted me to "do her good". She was beautiful, a Junior to my Sophmore, and a very convincing kisser. What kept her around me for almost a year was what I told her when she insisted on getting me to make love with her right there: "I really like you. I want you so bad", I told her, "but I want to do it when we're both ready for it and at someplace where we don't have to rush it. Believe me, I don't want to rush YOU".

For my bravery, Joyce kissed me and ask me if I wanted to go steady with her. "Yes" was my starry-eyed response. We left the side of the building holding hands and "in love". We never did have sex. Over the next eight months, we did however have a series of GREAT evenings and afternoons together!

You will have to use what you've learned in Scouting, from your faith, and from your parents in dealing with your peers. There's no one book nor one set of rules that will tell you what and when you should "tell" and what you "should keep quiet". I'll tell you from my own experiences over many years, though.

You will know which to do if you think about it and do not let friendship nor promises get in the way.

This applies no matter if you are saving a child from a burning building or are making a bowline for a mountain rescue. No matter if you are keeping someone from driving drunk or if you prevent someone from death at the hands of some other kid displaying his or her knife or handgun.

Remember when the rooster crowed, Jesus's signal that Judas will have "done the deed" by? Judas was at first ashamed of himself for telling the authorities where to find the Son of Man and in accepting the gold pieces. But when Jesus appeared and explained that he indeed did the right thing, Judas was relieved that his friend and "road partner" was not angry nor disappointed in him, even though Judas would never again embrace his friend of several years.

Likewise, you too will feel guilt and shame when you hear of your friends in trouble by your "love and caring" for them. But those same people, once given the assistance and support they need, will thank you eventually. They may not embrace you or even speak favorably of you all of the time. But they are alive, well, and continuing to be here on this earth, which is a great part of bravery, even if you may not be here any more.

We as Scouts and Scouters have a lot of opportunties in protecting others from harm caused by stupidity. There's so much you can do without tattletelling or "alerting the authorities". It starts with us, each of us, examining the words we speak when we say "A Scout is Brave".

It never ends.

(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)

© 1996 Settummanque! for Blackeagle Services

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