When did “you’re such a boy scout” become a thing? When did being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent become something that people sneer at? When did being crude and crass become more acceptable than avoiding bad language and not being condescending and negative toward people?
The Scout Law is a system of BEHAVIOR. Behavior includes how we act, how we speak and how we conduct ourselves. How we behave is a CHOICE. It is one of the founding principles of our country – freedom of speech. When did we choose to stop being civil?
In the Boy Scouts of America, our code of Behavior includes being FRIENDLY. We have no room for not being friendly. Friendly to others. Friendly to Scouts. Friendly to all people at all times. It’s a CHOICE and one we encourage our Scouts to embrace.
There will be people in life who are neither courteous, nor kind nor friendly to you. Being friendly does not mean you are friends for life or even friends for 20 minutes. It means you choose to be kind and pleasant. You choose that because when you are kind and pleasant to others, they often return your friendly behavior with an attitude of Gratefulness. Friendly includes opening a door for someone, friendly includes holding a line for someone, friendly includes allowing others to go first, friendly includes minding your language and choice of words.
Make no doubt, being friendly every day and at all times is a Behavior that requires DISCIPLINE to deliver. Practice every day. Be thoughtful before you respond if you are feeling in a bad mood. Be deliberate. Be friendly. It will earn you lifelong friends and the respect of everyone around you.