My title comes from the fact that I’m an Eagle Scout. I was in the Boy Scouts of America since 4th grade, and I was awarded the highest rank shortly before my 18th birthday.
This achievement is probably the biggest reason I was accepted into USAF pilot training—plenty of fellas have good grades and a pilot license. Nowadays, if I’m at work and in front of a television set I can’t help but be struck by the amount of commercials having to do with how the Boy Scouts were apparently the second worst organization in human history as measured by how many little boys the adult men in charge molested.
I was never molested. None of my friends were molested.
Also all over the news right now is the Oprah interview. Hopefully it’s Oprah’s last. I refuse to watch it, but am confident the folks at Charlie Hebdo have summed it up quaintly.
We live in the time of perversion.
Meghan and Harry are not royalty any more than LeBron is king.
Oprah didn’t “conduct an interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”, anymore than Trump “incited the January 6th insurrection.”
America is not a democracy—nor an oligarchy—anymore than Somalia is under rule of law.
When my friend and I had cars and driver’s licenses, we were sure to enjoy the newfound and rare freedom to linger whimsically after Monday night Scout meetings ended. The rest of the boys were picked up by their parents in timely fashion with little say about the matter. Most leaders were themselves parents, but there often would be one thirty year old single dude who just liked camping and giving back to the organization that formed him so strongly.
One night, this thirty year old and my friend and I were chatting in the parking lot. The Scoutmaster came over and stood for a bit—almost seeming impatient. Finally he did seem impatient and I said, “We’re okay. You don’t have to stay.”
I’ll never forget the feeling in my gut when the Scoutmaster gave me a look that said, “How stupid can you be?”
As we turned to get in our respective vehicles, in an attempt to save face with my friend, I think I overcompensated and actually said, “I still don’t understand why we have to have two adults,” even though I knew darn well that child molestation was a thing.
For this post, the aspect I’m drawing attention to is the silent shame that I was made to feel for being stupid, for ignoring reality, for trying to pretend there are no patterns in life.
My life is overflowing with men and women who made me feel shame for being stupid.
And my-unmolested-self couldn’t be more grateful.
How about you? Feel like you learned anything here today?