Saturday, November 18, 2017

Trust, or, Can We Be Honest for a Moment?

A note to you, dear readers: this started as something I was writing in my notebook when I was frustrated. It turned into... something else. I hope that you find it compelling. There are a lot fewer bells and whistles and pictures and hyperlinks than my usual blog posts.

So here's my dysfunction: I expect that, when people tell me something, especially people that I trust, I expect that what they tell me is objectively true. That doesn't mean that they really want what they say to be true, but rather that it is, beyond a doubt, true. Because why should you have confidence in something that could be false?

And this person that I trust, if they have any doubts in what they're saying, I would hope that they would be upfront about those doubts. Because if I trust you, it is in part because I know that you can be honest. Being honest about something, even if you know that I won't like what you have to say, does not compromise my trust in you. In fact, since we are being honest, I know that I can trust you more.

I am of the opinion that we can talk all day about what we want to be true, or the way we think things ought to be in the world. Let's talk all day, you and me, friend, and let's solve the world's problems. But when it comes down to what we actually do, I want your honesty. And your compulsion for action. Let's yolk ourselves together, friend, because that's what friends do.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Journey Continues, or, Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Except that this is my life, not some iconic scene from Newsies...

No, seriously, this post has updates from this past week, so it is kinda hot off the presses. Well, I guess it's not hot, I let the news cool for a few days so that I can write about it objectively; as objectively as I can for something so personal.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Journey So Far, or, This Might Just Be a Listicle...

Last Friday (20 Oct), my wife pointed out to me that it was the one year mark of my enlistment in the Minnesota Army National Guard. So to mark that, I want to share the posts, give some updates, and have some fun with Top 10 lists... this post might seem disjointed, but hopefully there's some fun because of it!

Here is what I wrote about it last year, accentuated by my wife's wonderful photography:

So Amanda has been my primary documentarian for the past 36 hours or so, and a lot has happened in that time. Shaved a beard, went to Ft. Snelling, took the ASVAB test, had the most in-depth physical of my life, and ultimately got sworn into the National Guard. I'm now a citizen soldier, so I will be doing drill one weekend a month, while still teaching at North Lakes (if anyone was concerned about that)
I know that I haven't shared this process with many of you, so let me try to get everyone up to speed and let you ask questions if you want:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Beloved BSA Is Now Co-Ed! Or, I'm Happy to Have More Eagles

I don't think I'm supposed to do this, but I'm going to because I want a chance to voice my opinions. And that's what a blog is for, right? But in all honesty, I'm not speaking on behalf of the BSA, so what I'm about to write needs expressly be viewed as my opinion, not sponsored nor representative in any way of the BSA. I'm just writing my take and my reactions to the buzz.
Again, I'm not sponsored by, nor a representative of
the BSA, which is also why I'm not using an official logo.

This past Wednesday (11 Oct 2017), the Boy Scouts of America made an official announcement that the organization would be integrating female youth at all levels of the program. This is going to start with Cub Scouts (the BSA children's program) in 2018, and extend to Boy Scouts (the iconic teenage program) in 2019. A copy of the official release can be found on the BSA website.

Before I launch into any arguments from detractors, I first want to emphasize that this is not the first introduction of co-ed programs in the BSA, much less the Scouting Movement at large. The BSA has organized Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, Exploring, and Sea Scouts, and only those first two have been persistently all-male, up until the announcement last week. Venturing was officially formed in 1998 and has been co-ed the whole time. Explorers have existed in various forms since 1935 and have been co-ed since 1971. Sea Scouts has also existed in various forms for over 100 years and is also now a co-ed program.

And these are all just programs offered by the Boy Scout of America. The majority of the worldwide Scouting Movement has been co-ed and we in the US are really only matching them now.

So this is really where I want to start the discussion; recognizing that, for people who are up in arms about female youth being included in Scouts, Scouts has been inclusive for both sexes for a long time. Of course, we can talk about the inclusion of LGBT youth as well, but that's another discussion entirely (though my opinion there is not so different from my opinion here).

At any rate, let's talk about why people are upset with the BSA.