One of the most boring things growing up as a child is being asked to say thank you! Even for something as small as a sweet, they will always tell the child: “have you thanked uncle for the sweet?” Wasn’t that boring and annoying to many of us growing up as children?
I thought this was an over exaggerated repression by parents but to my surprise as I joined scouting as a young energetic boy I was amazed to learn the same from my scout master who urged I and my peers to always say thank you to shop keepers after buying anything from a shop. This did not just feel oppressive but offensive. I have given the shop keeper my money and I thank him/her? What about the shop keeper thanking me because I have given him my money I always wondered. But well as a child I had to put aside my egos and kept doing as taught but with a lot of internal conferences going on inside me.
It wasn’t long that I one day visited my sister in deep village during my school holidays for some weeks and it happened that I one morning wanted to buy a razor blade to get a fashionable cut of that time. As small as a razor is, I walked confidently to the shops without any little idea that something as small as that could not be in the shop, so I quickly dashed to the shop and tender my precious 50 cent and proudly say can I have a razor? I was greeted by shock as the shop keeper said to me, “Young man we do not have razor blades, until next week when you go to communal market”
First, I was gripped by a deep cloud of disappointment as I could barely accept that the cut that I had badly wanted that day could not happen. But as I dragged my feet back to my sister’s house, I slowly begun to recall what my scout master had taught us, to always say thank you after buying anything from the shop. I looked at my 50 cents and realized how useless it was as I could not use it to cut my hair.
The fountain of Scouting and Guiding is the heartbeat of gratefulness, even when we may not understand why we should, let’s just do it. St. George’s philosophy teaches us to do good to others, take care of other people’s need and also to be grateful and live fulfilled lives.
As we celebrate the life and legacy of our predecessor and patron St. George amidst the misery and agony of Covid-19 , let’s our family of scouts and guides extend a hand longer than ever before to reach out to all those in need in one way or another. Let the spirit of Scout ship and Guide ship thrive.
Happy St George’s
Compiled by Mathius Lukwago
Member of ISGF World Committee