I love to share stories at our Pack meeting's Cubmaster minute time. Tonight, I shared a little about my favorite animal, the turtle.

The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizards and snakes. About 300 species are alive today, and some are highly endangered (Wikipedia). With millions of years of history, I’m fairly certain we can learn something from turtles. In fact, one scout did.

A scout was exploring around the campsite one afternoon when he once found a turtle. When he started to examine it, the turtle pulled in its head and closed its shell like a vice. This displeased the boy, and he picked up something and tried to pry it open. His scoutmaster saw all this and said: "No, that is not the way! You may kill it, but you will not get it open."

The scoutmaster took the turtle near the campfire and set it down so it could warm up. It was not but a few minutes until it began to get warm. Then the turtle pushed out its head, then its feet, and began crawling. " Turtles are like that," the Scoutmaster said, "and people, too. You cannot force them into anything. But if you first warm them up with some real kindness, more than likely they will open themselves up.”

Now, not everyone wants you to pick them up and put them by a fire but simple things show kindness. For kids it maybe, opening up a door for someone carrying a box, helping a brother or sister tie their shoes, cleaning your room or sweeping the floor, or even doing what your teacher says, are all acts of kindness.

For grown-ups it maybe some of that and more like returning a phone call or e-mail in a timely way, giving the benefit of the doubt first, not throwing up the hand gestures in traffic, or saying your sorry to your kids, spouse or friends (and enemies) when you're wrong.

And like the turtle, with real kindness you will find people open up to you and they will come to show kindness back to you.

May I Ask: Where have you found it hardest to act with kindness? Why is that?

May I Suggest: Take up the scouting challenge of "Doing A Good Turn." Try each day to do one act of kindness. Share what you did here!


Billy Bob said...

How can turtles be 215 million years old when the earth itself is only 6000 years old? :)

Ken said...

Really? I could have sworn that 215 million years old was accurate...then again, the source was Wikipedia. ;)

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