123Re: [tr-m] Orlando Sentinel Story
- Dec 12, 2000Is this a newspaper article or Mr. Yirak's own opinion (or both)?
John Yirak wrote:
Roosevelt talks tough on Scouts
Published December 10, 2000
I thought it might make an interesting contrast with current
to read the words of advice that Teddy Roosevelt gave the Boy Scouts in
Before I quote his words, which cynics will say are corny, let me remind
that these words did not come from either a naïve or a wimpy man.
had known the death of loved ones, the hardship of ranching in the
the fierce infighting of being a police commissioner of New York City, a
member of the legislature, a governor, a vice president and a president.
He had built the Panama Canal, and he had led men in combat and killed
in personal combat. There is no modern politician I know of whose resume
comes even close to that of Teddy Roosevelt.
In a letter to a Scout executive, Roosevelt wrote, "The movement is one
efficiency and patriotism. It does not try to make soldiers of Boy
but to make boys who will turn out as men to be fine citizens and who
if their country needs them, make better soldiers for having been
"No man is a good citizen unless he so acts as to show that he actually
the Ten Commandments and translates the Golden Rule into his life
and I don't mean by this in exceptional cases under spectacular
circumstances, but I mean applying the Ten Commandments and the Golden
in the ordinary affairs of every-day life. I hope the Boy Scouts will
practice truth and square dealing and courage and honesty. The man who
counts and the boy who counts are the man and boy who steadily endeavor
build up, to improve, to better living conditions everywhere and all
"The same qualities that mean success or failure to the nation as a
mean success or failure in men and boys individually. To be helpless,
self-indulgent, or wasteful will turn the boy into a mighty poor kind of
just as the indulgence in such vices by the men of a nation means the
of a nation. Any boy is worth nothing if he has not got courage, courage
stand up against the forces of evil and courage to stand up in the right
path. Let him be unselfish and gentle, as well as strong and brave. It
should be a matter of pride to him that he is not afraid of anyone and
he scorns not to be gentle and considerate to everyone, especially to
who are weaker than he is. If he doesn't treat his mother and sisters
then he is a poor creature no matter what else he does; just as a man
doesn't treat his wife well is a poor kind of citizen no matter what his
other qualities may be. Let the boy remember he must have knowledge, he
cultivate a sound body and a good mind and train himself so that he can
with quick decision in any crisis that may arise. Mind, eye, muscle all
be trained so that the boy can master himself and thereby learn to
This letter is taken from the very first Boy Scout handbook. It has been
reprinted by Applewood Books, Bedford, Mass., and shows an organization
was pretty tough. It contains, for example, instructions about how to
mad dog and how to stop a runaway horse.
It's hard to imagine a modern president giving the same advice that
Roosevelt offered. Most recent presidents have more or less fractured
Ten Commandments, and, of course, Bill Clinton has not treated his wife
any other woman well. And nowadays there are people attacking the Boy
rather than encouraging them, because they refuse to compromise on
and morality. Such is the ruined state of the nation today.
Copyright © 2000, Orlando Sentinel
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