Wednesday, September 2, 2009

“Be Prepared,” Scout’s Honour

You’re trapped and immobile on a hillside some place resembling jungle and it’s starting to get cool. You knew you should have bought that personal EPIRB; it would make all the difference now. People are not expecting you back for another 24 hours, and worse, you’ve wandered from the known track some three kilometres, meaning any possible search is going to be hampered—they’ll not find you where they expect you.

This is a credible scenario. The trouble is it’s often not until we find ourselves in a situation like this that we think about what we actually need. Life is far too rushed or we’re far too focused on what we might miss out on as opposed to caring for our own protection.

If you don’t like hiking it could be any number of other activities that see you marooned. The possible list is bewildering from tsunami to attack to vehicle crash to near drowning and many more.

As a kid my parents had the wisdom to get me involved in the local Cub and Scout movement. It was there I learned about many good things including teamwork, initiative, work ethic and resourcefulness.

The motto, Be Prepared, is one that has not always stuck with me, but it bears constant consideration.

Imagine being in a place where you witness an accident. There’s blood everywhere and whether you’re trained or not you feel compelled to assist. By the end of it you’ve got blood on your hands—it’s even on your clothes. You also cut yourself on some of the broken glass. Later you find out the person you saved had Hepatitis B... a pair of disposable gloves could possibly have made all the difference.

Or imagine finding yourself suddenly around people with infectious influenza; a deadly strain. If you only had that disposable face mask.

Time’s now to do a little risk-assessing. It’s always time to stop and think before we commit to doing things. I know I need to do it more.

Life is a constant push for production. We tend not to think much about our own protection in the midst of progress. But, just think, the consequences could prove fatal some day!

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