Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Oath Keeper

The oath keeper

There was a time when a handshake meant something. Before our laws became loop-holes, and irresponsibility and treachery was taught as normal. A time when a simple signature in India ink, a melted wax droplet on a document stamped with a family crest, or an oath of alliance yelled moments before a battle, brought unbounded strength of purpose, and the courage for true conviction. When a man finally came to a righteous conclusion, by his own volition, that honor was more important than one's own life, from that moment on he was called an oath keeper.

Boy Scouts of America

The finer parts of America were built on oaths, from the promise of a Police Officer who swore to protect and serve, to a military man on the front lines of liberty. But the foundation of an oath extends to every man, woman and child here in America. It can be found in an educator who tries so hard to teach students self-worth in a government-run co-op designed system that inspires the opposite, or a foreman standing in consternation as he helps build another skyscraper from the residue of 9-11. That same resolute can be traced all the way back to our framers who risked everything, their lives and fortunes, to sign the Declaration of Independence. And then, with trembling hands, gave us our Constitution and Bill of Rights with prayers that we could keep it, we the people, their children.

Early on Saturday mornings, on a crystalline carpet of dew, glinted under the breath of a chilled mist, single shots would wake New Orleans from under the spreading arms of our dueling oaks, where honor was defended, and oaths tested. 

You see, men of substance do not spring out of the ground whole, they are self made. A man of virtue and honor can manifest from any color, religion, or creed, with a virtuous and honorable oath. A flawed oath, however, will not be followed long, as it is against the very nature of men. Men know that for an oath to become a viable part of the heart and mind, it has to have one primary element, truth. Men everywhere, from desert to forest, from the halls of decree to the bowels of the bane, know truth when they hear it. It is universal, a universal truth that cannot be denied.

The following is the Boy Scout oath, and it projects forward the man he has the potential to become. Take the time and look into the faces of boys reciting this simple and yet profound oath, and you will get a rush of hope that will bring on tears. Our Country, our precious constitution, our hard-won liberty, is being shredded, and in their trusting and shining faces, the faces of our children, you will find the solace and true hope you so longed for, as parents, as teachers, as Americans. Stand fast with the knowledge that truth is the primary element that can heal us, unite us, as one nation under God. Only through truth can honor be restored, and so too, a worthy oath.

The Boy Scout Oath
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

From an honorable oath a boy is allowed to grow into an honorable man...

The Boy Scout of America

In his blood there flows the hard-won unity of courage and comprehension. His heart yearns for the balanced fire of justice and truth, and his dreams fly as free as an eagle.

He can tread in both woodland and city with equal stead. Looking past building or tree he can tell true north from south, by the signs of star and the processions he knows by name.

The knots he ties hold true, and he can climb trees, forge rivers, and travel long distances, where others would surely fail. He can mend a tear in his shirt, and tell you which fruits and seeds are edible, and what are not.

He can cook from a fire he has made from flint and steel, or bow, even on the wettest of days, and aligns himself with friends who he has grown to trust, and who trust him. He knows and understands the use of weapons, regarding them as tools. He promotes safety with every turn.

He knows the ways of men, attempts to excel in every aspect of school and sport, but can read the wind for signs of rain too. A scout knows the ways of birds, animals and insects, and can interpret volumes in an animal track. His eyes see many things that others do not, because he realizes he is one with this world. He has come to know that each has their place in God’s creation.

Like an old frontiersman, a Boy Scout does not flaunt his knowledge and wisdom. In him is the quiet power that comes from this knowing. He speaks softly and surely, and answers all questions modestly. A loud braggart is not challenged, as his wagging tongue and ignorance will be his undoing. A scout will never fear a bully, but knows that victory can nearly always be won by a seemingly simple method, a good example.

Honor is his most cherished possession. His handshake has true meaning, and there is solid strength in a promise. Duty and responsibility forges his free will, and he would rather die than have his honor stained. A Scout wins the confidence and respect of all who know him, for he walks his talk of right and wrong accordingly.

A Scout has learned to practice self-control. He realizes that one can never master the problems that life will present without first mastering himself. He guards his temper with pride, kindled by observation, and learns from the mistakes of others. He curbs his appetite, eating only foods that will nourish and make him stronger, never using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs that will poison him, as he desires a clear and active mind, and a healthy and strong body. He never has to run away, or call for help when an accident happens, because he knows what to do. He has prepared himself in mind and spirit for any situation he can think of, and action is second nature to him.

A scout is a doer, and his resourcefulness and courage will see him through many an emergency. His primary motivation for action is to put safety of others before his own, and lives the creed of the knight, “Might For Right." He has empathy for those less fortunate, and aids the helpless and weak. He knows how to walk in another man’s shoes, and has few enemies. He is in constant vigilance, and knows that every deed, no matter how small, has both value and consequence.

A scout can make himself known to another scout anywhere in the world by a method only scouts can know. He has brothers of like spirit and mind everywhere on the planet, and knows a hearty welcome. He can talk with another scout without making a sound, or by the clicks he taps in Morse code.
A scout is kind to every living thing. He knows that everything has a right to exist in its own way, and his respect for nature is in every act. He leaves in the woods only his footsteps, but takes with him the memory and learning he will carry throughout his life.

A scout knows that people will expect more from him then other boys, and he accepts this. He knows that his conduct will reflect every one of the great brotherhood he has accepted and pledged as his own, and he carries his oath deep in his heart.

A scout loves his country, knows the history and guiding principles that has formed it, and will serve at a moment’s notice. In uniform, he will salute at attention during the pledge of allegiance, and look at Old Glory with love and respect. He can fold and stow the flag correctly, and understands its symbolism in stars and stripes.

A scout knows his country and the men who are in authority to govern. He knows current events, and finds his place in the making of its future. He patterns his verve from other great Americans, and is prepared to meet the challenges of life, for his God, his countrymen, and his family.
Boy Scout Law
A Scout is:
• Trustworthy,
• Loyal,
• Helpful,
• Friendly,
• Courteous,
• Kind,
• Obedient,
• Cheerful,
• Thrifty,
• Brave,
• Clean,
• and Reverent.
Boy Scout Motto
Be Prepared!
Boy Scout Slogan
Do a Good Turn Daily!

God bless America!

*Special thanks to the Boy Scouts of America manuals, where these truths are found between every line. A thank you to the men of my Troop 185, attached to St. Raphael Church, and to my father who could find us in the dark. Thank you for your patience with me, who wanted only to play. Thank you for standing so tall, with your guiding hands on my head, seeing beyond the boy to the man. There, between my childish laughter and the lines of truth you so lovingly wanted me to see, my oath finally became the best of me. I see now, so many years in the making, that there is something far greater than I am, and with a moral compass of truth as guide, that you taught, this life has had far more value and meaning.
I am so proud to say that I am an oath keeper.

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