Ever Think About That? has become a catch phrase at my house. It all happened one day when the girl and I were discussing/debating... I don't even remember... and I was trying to explain why things are the way they are and she questioned it once again and added some sort of great reason in her mind to disbunk my philosophy and ended with "Ever think about that?" It caught me so off guard that I burst into laughter and said "No. I haven't. But, I see your point."
As I sit here with a cold on a sunny Missouri day in preparation to spend the weekend listening to music and hanging with my two favorite people in the world, I'm thinking. I'm always thinking. I'm thinking about "that". Seriously, sometimes I wish I could just turn it off. I envy those that can sit for hours and stare at nothing and think of nothing and just... sit. How do they do that? I've never been able to do that.
So, what am I thinking of... I'm thinking how as a young woman I was told "You get what you give." "Life is a two way street." and "You're only as good as your word." Well... I'm sure in some realm those are always accurate and true, but life and Girl Scouts has taught me they aren't and there are many gray areas between black and white.
Now before you think "oh, great... " about this post... I implore you to read on... read on...
Let's start with "You get what you give."
As a Leader of two troops and a Volunteer Service Coordinator, I can say when it comes to Girl Scouts I give. I give of my time, energy, money, space in my home, and in every way possible. I do this freely and happily. I'm not complaining. But, I look at the Leaders in my Service Unit and the other Leaders I have met along the way and these women (and men) give a LOT more than they get. The get side is lacking in comparison of the giving. We give young girls the chance to soar and reach dreams. To explode with passion of learning into a world that will be better because of the time we have spent preparing them. I don't give to Girl Scouts thinking it's going to even out on the scales. I give with my whole heart because it's a movement I believe in. Young women pursuing careers and families and life and using their many talents to change the world.That's what we will eventually get... maybe not in my lifetime, but hopefully in theirs.
"Life is a two way street".
(Don't do this on an actual highway! That's just stupid.) I picture a freshly paved highway when I think of this phrase. I wonder how many times I have swerved into the metaphorical oncoming traffic and dared my competitor to try me. Sometimes as a Leader, you have to get tough... not with the girls (though, that happens too) but with other adults who doubt them. You have to stand up for what you believe in. You have to fight for the girls when they don't feel they can. They need to see they mean the world to you and they are worth fighting for. It's all well and fine to stay in your lane and get the job done and get to the destination that was set before you. But, I challenge you to think outside that paved highway. Take the scenic route every once in a while... slow down and take it all in. Swerve into oncoming traffic and watch your opponent take the shoulder. Go off roading and feel the bumps in the terrain. This may seem ridiculous to you... but in my mind today I'm thinking of a challenge faced by many... "we've always done it that way". It's so easy to back down from this phrase and not step up to make a change. Sometimes, you have to swerve and face it head on and simply respond "the way it has always been done means nothing to today's young girl". SHE needs the opportunity to succeed and change and lead. You can't lead in the past. You can only lead in the present and build for the future. Remember when I said Girl Scouts is a movement... movements don't stand still and they aren't a straight line. Don't forget sometimes you'll be the opposition and taking the shoulder doesn't mean you lost or that you're weak. It means you are strong enough to leave the pavement and still survive. Do so with dignity and consider turning around and joining forces and just see what happens.
"You're only as good as your word".
This is so true for so many things, but I like to think that I am more than just my word. Words without actions are nothing. My husband and I both are in the IT field. He does the hardware and networking side, I do the programming side of the spectrum. He likes to tease me when I'm frustrated with a job that "It's only words on the page." He is teasing. He knows there is more to it. But, if it were only words on the page, how easy would that be? How boring would that be, too? It's great to have ideas and it's great to put words out there... but if you don't do anything with it, you are wasting your talent. What good is a speaker if they never speak to uplift, encourage, and kindle the passion for dreams in others? What good is the outline of a magnificent event if it never comes to fruition? What good is a plan if there is no one to carry it out? What good is a movement if there is no one to continue the flow?
Lastly, I want to remind you of this... a wise woman said this in a meeting I was honored to attend and I refer to it many a time. We were discussing how it's hard to get support and that we needed to make it easier for families. She sat back and simply said "It's Girl Scouts. Not Family Scouts. Not Business Scouts. Not Leader Scouts. GIRL Scouts!" We are building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. You are going to ruffle some feathers. You are going to have disagreements. It isn't going to be easy. Keep your composure and keep your focus. We need to remember our focus is right there in the name. If it's for the girls, then you are on the right page. If it isn't, then you need to refocus your energy.