World Organization of the Scout Movement at the Founders Day Celebrations February 2017
Baden Powell: A Legacy for Young People Worldwide
World Organization of the Scout Movement at the Founders Day Celebrations February 2017.
Indeed, today is a special day. We call ourselves Scouts and Guides because of this man Baden Powell and his wife Lady Olave - who carried on his work, promoting Scouting and Guiding around the world.
May their joint grave, (which is right behind us here) be a constant reminder of the legacy they bestowed upon us. A legacy shared by more than 40 million Scouts, young people and adults, male and female, in over 200 countries and territories around the world today; and the over 500 million people have been Scouts, including prominent people in every field.
From Baden Powell’s life, we can draw many lessons of relevance to our lives today, both as adults and young people:
1. Despite our misfortunes in life we can still do great things: Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, the eight of ten children of Baden and Henrietta Powell, was orphaned at the age of 3 years but still went on to build the world’s greatest youth movement. His focus and determination in life was exemplary. We too need to identify our passions and callings, focus our energies on them and work hard to realize them, regardless of the misfortunes and challenges that may come our way.
2. A good idea can change the world: The story of Scouting began as an experiment that turned out to be such a great and timeless idea. In the same way we should not be afraid to try out the ideas we have. The world today needs innovators who can help others to do or look at things differently. As Scouts that is our duty - to help others.
3. Children should be allowed to define their own path in life: BP’s father was a university professor and yet Baden Powell took up a career as a soldier and later on a youth educator. Parents should allow their children to pursue their passions and support them with opportunities to learn and grow.
4. Legacies should be able to outlive their initiators: It is 76 years now since Baden Powell passed on yet Scouting is still growing even stronger. Great leaders invest in people who can carry on their legacies even after they are gone. We do should do our best to see to it that we can still inspire people through our good deeds long after we depart form this world.
The legacy of Baden Powell is also a call to all Indians, especially the 1.4 million Scouts around this beautiful country, in this another election year.
We are all aware of what has been happening over the years. As Scouts and as patriotic citizens you one again called upon to stand in the gap and be counted as Messengers of Peace.
Let us know allow ourselves to be divided along political, tribal, religious or any other lines. Lets us not allow ourselves to be swayed by the politics of the day and turned against each other. Let us not allow ourselves to engage in any form of violence and destruction.
Instead, let us go out, speak out and promote tolerance, dialogue and peace. Let us embrace, share and love each other as brothers and sisters of one nation. When the elections are finished we will still have a country to keep. So let us be wise. Let us engage in politics and vote peacefully. Let us not give violence a chance but instead cultivate a culture of peace, dialogue, love and tolerance, as a way of creating a better world for all.
Let me conclude by thanking The Bharat Scouts and Guides for making us proud, not only with its 1.4 million Scouts who make it the 6th largest National Scout Organization in the world, but for successfully organizing the Founders day every year, at this memorable Garden.
Thank you and happy founder's day to you all!
Godwin Aalfread, The Bharat Scouts and Guides, India