We all hear this word “cheerful,” and in the context of the phrase ‘A Scout is Cheerful,’ we tend to think of the quintessential image of a cheerful scout: high pitched voice, big smile, eager, and a willingness to help no matter the task. However, cheerfulness is a state of being. It’s a state that for some, we seldom find ourselves, especially during challenging times. To others it comes naturally and rarely dissipates under any condition. For those of us who don’t enjoy a naturally cheery state, it requires work. Cheerfulness means a lot of things, and often times gets distilled down to an abstract – that singular image of a cheerful scout.
There is more to it than just that image. The founders of the Scouting movement recognized it’s critical importance, which is why they put it in the Scout Law. As we learn when taking the Wilderness Survival merit badge, ‘Positive Mental Attitude’ is the first rule of survival. Without maintaining a PMA we can succumb to anguish and despair, and those emotions can rip our very survival from within our grasp. They can cloud our judgment, and keep us from taking the necessary action to stay alive or succeed in an endeavor.
Despair can appear during any crisis, during any turbulence. A Scout who practices cheerfulness during prosperity and also in the face of all challenges, however small, will welcome it as a familiar friend during increased times of challenge. And just like anguish and despair, Cheerfulness is contagious. Your cheerfulness, your positive attitude, will spread to most others around you. This power enables you to lift hope and inspire courage in others. A single cheerful scout is worth more than twenty scouts in despair. A single cheerful scout can transform a situation from a struggle to a success against the odds.
For those scouts to whom cheerfulness comes naturally, you are tasked with sharing the cheer. You must help lead the change and bring up those around you. You must share the positive perspective, and ultimately guide others away from despair, never relenting to it’s grip.
When a scout is cheerful, negative emotions cower, and overcoming obstacles and ensuring success, in any challenging environment, is amplified. A scout is not cheerful simply for themselves. No, a scout is cheerful like a single candle lights a room, like a fire pushes back the night. A scout is cheerful for all and for none. In this way too, even when we are not a designated leader in a given situation, we can still lead, we can still shine, we can still lift our team. Cheerfulness can make all the difference in the world, and all the difference in your life.
A Scout is Cheerful