Creating a “We” from “Me” Generation
As I travel and meet with Scouts and Scout Leaders, I observe that Scouting and the Messengers of Peace (MoP) Initiative are helping to create, what I refer to as, a "We" generation.
Think back with me to the not-so-distant past before Facebook, cell phones, pagers and answering machines. It was a time when young people came home from school, said “hi” to mom, changed clothes, and ran outside to meet and play with their friends. These young people represented what has quickly become a near-lost generation of “instigators of play”.
Hit the fast-forward button to today. Young people come home from school; pretty much ignore mom; change (perhaps) into play clothes; watch television, pound away on their computer keyboard, play video games or chat online with friends. These young people are, what I call, "consumers of play".
"Consumers of play" are generally concerned about "Me". They want to know, "What's in this for me?" They want the latest hairstyle, designer shoes, and the most recent electronic devices. Sadly, it's all about "Me"!
Scouting has a real challenge. We must invite young people to leave their comfort zone as “consumers of play” -- away from the television, their smartphone or computer -- to become "instigators of play"; a concept that may be foreign to them. We might need to ask two or three times before the young person accepts an invitation to join a Scouting activity. Once they do, they would be inevitably transformed from being "consumers of play" or the "Me" generation, to becoming "instigators of play", the "We" generation.
With its focus on dialogue and community service, the combination of Scouting and the MoP Initiative has helped enable the fast growing “Me” generation to open their hearts and eyes and become a whole new “We” generation... turning the “M” upside down into a “W”.
They see first-hand that there are others in their communities besides “Me” who need help. And it is my opinion that this “We” generation will mature into adults who will become better spouses, better parents, better employees, better employers and better prepared to give back to their communities.
That is why so many tell me Scouting is the world’s best leadership development programme.
And how can I be so sure? Well, this "We" generation of Scout Messengers of Peace has already shown they have a significant global social impact. Over 620,000,000 hours of service, carried out in communities big and small throughout the world, prove that instead of "looking" for imaginary friends on social media, these young people touch the lives of real people in their quest to create a better world.
Scouts are Messengers of Peace. There has never been a more critical time for this combination than right now, today!
My name is Scott Teare.
I am a Scout.
I am a Messenger of Peace.
And I am proud to serve as your Secretary General!