Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do a Good Turn Daily!

Do a Good Turn Daily!

For those in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the United States, “Do A Good Turn Daily” should be more than just a slogan but should be something that is practiced on a daily basis. Those in Cub Scouts once they crossover over should "Be Prepared” for service.

As today, November 13th, 2011 is World Kindness Day, this is a good day to make sure that your scouts put into practice this concept. If you were not aware of World Kindness Day, you may be wondering what this is.

The idea behind the World Kindness Movement (WKM) crystallized at a conference in Tokyo in 1997 when the Small Kindness Movement of Japan brought together like-minded kindness movements from around the world.

The Mission…
The mission of the World Kindness Movement (WKM) is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and connect nations to create a kinder world. The WKM encourages individuals of all nations to set up their own kindness movements. It is also actively seeking kindness movements to join the WKM. Currently, membership stands at 18 kindness organizations with representation from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dubai, England, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the USA.



For those of us in the USA who know the history of the Scouting Movement, as legend goes it was one random act of kindness that was the root of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered a boy who came to be known as the Unknown Scout. Boyce was lost on a foggy street when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce's tip, explaining that he was a Boy Scout (in London) and was merely doing his daily good turn. Soon thereafter, Boyce met with General Baden-Powell, who was Chief Scout of the world at the time. Upon his return to the United States, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. It was the scout’s random act of kindness and his duty to doing a good turn daily that sparked the first 101 years of scouting in the United States.

When many Cub/Joey/Beaver unit leaders, Boy Scout Leaders, Girl Scout Leaders, Impact Girls, Heritage Girls or Royal Rangers Units leaders were recruited by other leaders, it was suggested that the volunteer service would be only 1 hour a week.  For the vast majority of these leaders it is 5 to 20 times or more that amount but for these leaders, most do it generally without much complaint. The love of seeing the youth grow from young boys and girls into young men and women is reward enough.  These leaders are inspired many times by a greater calling. The leaders in these scouting movements really go above doing a good turn daily and embody what this day is all about.

In my wife’s opinion as well as my own, we believe the world can certainly use more kindness... and acceptance... and tolerance.  It starts at home. It starts with me. It starts with you.  Today and tomorrow may we look beyond ourselves and beyond the boundaries of our city, state or country.  May we look beyond our culture, our race and our religion and realize that we are citizens of the world, beautiful people from the inside out able and meant to do good works.

Spreading love and generosity through random acts of kindness really can make a difference in people's lives. You may find that as you set out to do a kind act (perhaps anonymously) for another without looking for recognition or glory that a couple things will happen.  One... you'll be making a positive difference in someone else's life and give that person confidence and faith that there are kind people in this world. Two... you'll feel a special joy inside, one that is much richer than any tangible reward.

Here in the autism community we often find ourselves facing challenges that are difficult to face.  I don't discount that but it's important to remember that the way we look at adversity will often impact not just our mood and attitude but the mood, attitude and actions of those around us as well.  Ever seen a chain of meltdowns happen one after the other?  We've been there!  

Even when you're overloaded and in need of a break, try making a daily choice to put yourself in a positive atmosphere and live your life with kindness, integrity and accountability.  Your optimistic attitude will rub off on others and will be a great example to those around you. Now I know that what I'm saying is easier said than done but we certainly can try for positive change! Realize it's okay to slip and fall and try again. 

For those scouts on the Autism Spectrum having them do a random act of kindness on a daily basis can be a challenge in some cases.  There are some ways you can help these scouts. 

1, Have them take part in your unit’s monthly service project. This is a good way to have them be involved in the unit and provide service to the community.  Your unit should do a monthly service project, if they are not talk to your committee to start this service. 

2. When Life Scouts need help in their Eagle Projects, have your scout help out. This will not only get them involved in the unit, this will also let them get a better understanding on what an Eagle Project looks like.
Have them start out with a simple good turn at home. 

3. Have them give a Smile Card. 

My wife picked up some free Smile cards from http://www.helpothers.org/ .  The boys and I have had lots of fun finding ways to give them out. Maybe you'd like to give it a try? There is also an organization in Australia doing something similar with Ripple Kindness cards. http://www.rippleeffects.com.au/RippleCards.html You can also down load them for Free if you would like. 

4. Another simple way is to have them give somebody a smile. 

The four foundational pillars of Autism Empowerment are Accept,Enrich, Inspire, Empower. The value system and philosophy we embody can be applied to anyone's life.  

For more information on Autism and Scouting as well as Autism Empowerment, we invite you to check out these links.


Autism Empowerment - http://www.autismempowerment.org
Autism Empowerment Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment
Autism and Scouting Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting
Twitter
@autismscouting and @autismempowermt

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