I was invited to attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for a fine young man I’ve had the please of service with on NYLT for 2 years a few weeks past. As part of the ceremony he had his Grandfather, also and Eagle Scout, read the Eagle Scout Charge. What struck me at this particular time where not the words, though they normally do and help to remind me of the expectations when others learn I am an Eagle, but the announcement that the man reading them had been an Eagle Scout for 80 years.
After listening to the charge and reflecting on it’s meaning for me I did some quick math in my head. I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1989, and thus in 2014 I will have been an Eagle for 25 years. It’s hard to fathom what my 16 year old mind thought of what the path had ahead for me. At the time I thought I had a career as a military officer, but that path was obviously abandoned. The skills I gained, however, have remained and been of great benefit as I’ve grown.
The ideas of service and leadership have carried me forward and I continue to work on and try to improve. I find that I am most happy when I am helping others, whether that be with my talents or my time. The joy I find in seeing others benefit from those gifts means very much to me and I think it’s what drives me more than anything. Leadership has been the harder item, I’ve often struggled with what makes a good leader and with the skills to make myself an effective one. I find I have to remind myself that leadership and being a leader is not so much a title but action. It’s not an end point but a journey of learning that means stumbling from time to time.
I am grateful for every lesson, every person who’s encouraged me, for every piece of feedback; especially those that were hard to hear. I shall endeavor to continue to improve and make the next 25 years of service and leadership both a lesson for myself and an example for others. To all of you on the path with me, be it a short walk or for the long haul, a hearty thank you.
“We each leave a legacy, purposefully or not, from all that we do.” – me