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They stood in a military-type straight line, all toes pointed to the mark on the floor. All 10 stood at attention. What is unusual about this particular formation? Nine of them are 14 years old and No. 10 is 49 years old.
The Scoutmaster then asked, “Can all of you recite the Scout oath? Do you live up to the Scout law?”
“Before I ask you to raise your right hand to be sworn in as a Scout, let us review the Scout law, the Scout motto, the Scout slogan and the Scout oath:”
u Scout law – A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
u Scout motto – Be prepared.
u Scout slogan – Do a good turn daily.
u Scout oath – On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
The nine 14-year-olds were proud that they, in all honesty, could become good Scouts and had no problem with the Scout law, slogan and oath.
The 49-year-old at the end of the line looked confused and out of place. The Scoutmaster sensed this and asked, “Are you prepared to become a Boy Scout?”
With a long pause, the 49-year-old said, “For me to do a good turn daily would not be possible. I cannot and will not follow the Scout law. To follow the Scout oath, I would have to not think of myself, but think of others – that I cannot do.
As far as the Scout motto is concerned, I will be prepared to defend myself in court utilizing the best lawyers possible if I have to during my political career.”
“But sir, you are a Washington politician, does the Scout law mean nothing to you?” the Scoutmaster asked.
Not embarrassed, the politician broke ranks and slipped out the back door.
The moral of this story is how many politicians in office today could become a Scout, take and keep the Scout oath andpledge and not slip out the back door?
Franklin Whittlesey Sr.