Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Loyal

“Loyalty is a feature in a boy’s character that inspires boundless hope.” -Sir Robert Baden-Powell

Last week, we introduced what it means to be trustworthy – the first point of the Scout Law. This week, we focus our attention on what it means to be loyal.

What does Sir Baden-Powell mean by saying that a person’s character “inspires boundless hope?” More importantly, what is hope? Perhaps we think of “hope” as something that we want to happen or an event that we wish to occur. Let’s go back to basics and flip open the dictionary… or an online dictionary since we live in the digital age. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines “hope” as a “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.” It also defines “hope” as “trust” or “reliance“.

Okay, let’s apply those definitions to the quote. As a Scout, we are charged with leadership positions and duties at every Scout activity. Each Scout is responsible for certain duties that help the Scout Unit grow and become successful. If these duties are not performed, the expected result does not materialize. Each Scout must be loyal to his peers and to his Scout Unit. Without loyalty, no Scout Unit will succeed. This is why loyalty is codified into our Scout Law. While a Scout must be loyal to his peers and Scout Unit, so too must he be loyal to his family, good friends, and worthwhile deeds in life.

Now we can see the big picture. When loyalty becomes a person’s character trait, others can expect positive results and rely on that person to do things right. And when a person is loyal, others will be inspired to put their trust in that person.

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