Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Becoming an Eagle Scout (Randy Pausch)

New Tree House~Old Tree House
For the past few weekends, I've been helping my son, Tucker, work on his Eagle Scout project. It's been a long time coming~two years. But I have to admit (much to my chagrin), that he would have never been ready to complete this project two years ago. He has matured so much over the past few years. Don't get me wrong, he has his moments when I wonder if he's five again. But for the most part, he doesn't do too terribly bad. He's learning.

Teen life today is challenging and I do worry about him. Sometimes, I worry a lot. That worry causes me to monitor most things he does because you just never know... Some may think it's meddlesome etc. To them I would ask, "Do you have children?" Most will respond, "No. But I would never treat my kids that way!" To them I would add, "Come back and talk to me when you have kids that are teens." We struggle with differences in our home due to being a blended family. But that has calmed tremendously over the last year due to age and proximity. It saddens me sometimes to feel that way, but it's the truth and it's "real".

Completed Tree House

During one of our more challenging discussions, when we didn't see eye to eye, Tucker did tell me that he respected me because I was "real". He appreciated the fact that I didn't hold back with him and was completely honest with him. He understood that honesty can be painful, hurtful and ugly~just like during that discussion. But he preferred that honesty over "sugar-coating" and thinking I was "protecting" him. Yes, I do wonder if I tell him too much. But my opinion is such that he needs to understand my perspective so he can attempt to understand how things may effective me and hence the family unit. I know that's a great deal to ask from a teen, since most teens are very "I' oriented (having two teens, I surely know that). For me, I have learned to be honest with him. I also attempt, to the best of my ability, to present other perspectives and why they probably differ from mine so he knows that I don't just put blinders on. Do I believe this works? Yes, because he always knows what comes out of my mouth is the truth as I see it and believe it. I love having that freedom with him. I never had it with my stepson and never will. I will strive to do the same with my daughters.

So, as this post has turned into a great deal of ramblings, I come back to why I started this. My good friend and godmother of Elise, sent me this quote about Eagle Scouts. Now I wish he would feel the same about wearing his scout uniform ;-). Becoming an Eagle isn't for everyone. Only 2% of the boys that join scouting will successful attain this rank. It's quite an honor and a priviledge to be an Eagle.

By Randy Pausch "The Last Lecture" pg133

I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short-term. Earnest is long-term. Earnestness is highly underestimated. it comes from the core, while hip is trying to impress you with the surface. "hip" people love parodies. But there's no such thing as a timeless parody, is there? I have more respect for the earnest guy who does something that can last for generations, and that hip people feel the need to parody.

When I think of someone who is earnest, I think of a Boy Scout who works hard and becomes an Eagle Scout. When I was interviewing people to work for me, and I came upon a candidate who had been an Eagle Scout, I'd almost always try to hire him. I knew there had to be an earnestness about him that outweighed any superficial urges toward hipness.
Think about it. Becoming an Eagle Scout is just about the only thing you can put on your resumes at age fifty that you did at age sixteen-and it still impresses
My Soon-2-B Eagle Scout having tea with his sister

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