Sorry if I was confusing. Let me restate.
I come from a tradition that teaches good works are good for their own sake,
not as an entrance fee to the hereafter and that was the message I was
trying to convey. My tradition teaches that dwelling on the hereafter takes
time and effort away from these good works and is, therefore, discouraged.
On the other hand, if someone's faith holds that one earns entrance in the
world to come by doing good deeds, that's okay with me - the good gets done
and I'm not too anal about the motivation.
On the other, other, hand, there is at least one religion that provides
entrance to paradise is achieved principally by expanding the reach of the
religion. If this reach is achieved by forcibly imposing the doctrine or
killing apostates, infidels, and non-believers, that earns the actor a
ticket in first class. And maybe even virgins.
Point is, if one's motivation is driven solely by a desire to enter a better
place, the worldly results of that desire can be quite wicked.
I am more of an agnostic, but still believe in the performance of good
works (or whatever name you'd give it) as an end in itself. Even
helping the ltlle old lady across the street she wants to cross is a
good deed, although there are and should be "bigger" things to strive
for. The abuse of virgins is just that - abuse. Even the thought
should be abhorrent, unless the virgin really wants to shed the
Congrats from a long time Scouter and the father of two Eagles.
I have been told that the only two activities specifically asked about on
the application to any Military academy are "Are you an Eagle Scout, Did you
attend Boys State?"
My son is two-for-two there -- and wanted to attend the Naval Academy.
He applied and was admitted, pending Congressional nomination. He applied for,
and received, a full-ride NROTC scholarship to the university of his choice.
Unfortunately, he was DQed from both on medical grounds. He's healthy as a
horse, with one exception: an anaphylactic allergic reaction to shellfish.
Some years ago, I was chatting with a Scout who was just back from his first
semester at the Air Force Academy. I asked him if it gave him an edge, being
an Eagle. He said "Nah. It's pretty much expected." -- Doug
Speaking of Boys Scouts acheivements...
This happened locally within the last few days. I bet there are some proud
mothers and fathers on this one. An example of a training exercise suddenly
turning into the real thing.
As a woodworker, I offer AJ my compliments.
As a Scout leader for the last twenty-something years, I offer him my
congratulations. Few outside of the Scouting community realize how
much hard work and dedication it takes to attain the Eagle rank.
I'm sure you're very proud of him, and you deserve to be.
Reply-to address is real
Doug, you have a fine young man for a son, anyone
who says different is a jerk. I wish there were
many more young folks like you son out there. I
understand your pride and your wish to share it.
You have every right to brag, perhaps you had a
little bit to do with it. *snicker*
I actually had very little to do with the project. My role could be described
as "technical consultant" perhaps -- things like suggesting that reducing the
planned width of the box by 1/4" made it possible to cut all fourteen backs
out of one sheet of plywood instead of two; likewise for the plexiglass
fronts. I showed him how to plan his cuts on the table saw to minimize the
need to change setups. I told him he ought to use stainless steel nails, not
galvanized, in cedar, and why. I showed him how to make simple jigs to make
sure cuts were made, and holes were drilled, in consistent repeatable
But he came up with the idea, he planned the project, he raised the funds, he
bought the materials (or arranged for them to be donated), he made *all* the
saw cuts, he organized the team of volunteers to assemble the boxes, he
directed them. He made sure the "Call Before You Dig" folks marked the area so
the post-hole auger wouldn't hit any buried utilities. He talked the owner of
a construction company into drilling the holes for him, and showed him where
to drill the holes, and how deep. He supervised the final assembly and
installation of all fourteen stations. He hired a local engraving company to
make the brass "In memory of..." plaques, and kept careful track of who had
endowed which station, to make sure the plaques wound up on the right posts.
Yes, I "had a little bit to do with it." Literally a little bit. But it was
his project. Not mine.
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