November 14, 2010

I don't think I've talked about it on here, but a few months ago I started helping out at Cubs. I've now decided to become a full leader and it's made me think a bit more about a few things which I thought I'd already made my mind up on.

For a start, my stance on Christianity. I've never been terribly interested in religion but since I started working with Cubs I've realised that it's very important to respect the beliefs of others. I'm not about to become a born-again Christian or anything but I could certainly attend a service without being openly hostile these days, and I think I'm less sarcastic about those who choose to believe than perhaps I used to be.

Secondly, patriotism. I'm quite patriotic anyway - it comes from having lived abroad as a child. It made me very aware of my roots and proud to be British, and appreciate all the good things about living in England. But having to promise to honour the Queen makes me a little more serious about it and I'm definitely more inclined to support the monarchy than I once was.

Finally, the armed forces. The Akela in our Cub group is ex-army and ex-TA, as are many of the others I've met in Scouting. They take Remembrance Day very seriously. I've never quite understood it, but this year I've paid more attention than normal. I've learned that 11 November isn't Remembrance Day, it's Armistice Day, and that the Sunday after 11/11 is Remembrance Sunday. Today I watched the ceremony at the Cenotaph on TV and found it all quite humbling and significant. Despite not exactly agreeing with war and definitely not wishing to join the Armed Forces under any circumstances, I think that that commemorating the sacrifices of others is quite important. Bloody hell, here I go again, becoming a grown-up at last. Who knew?

I think the greatest personal skill is learning to be open-minded and tolerant of the beliefs of others. I know very few people who have mastered this and I would love to be one of them.

I think it is important for future generations to remember the sacrifices of the past; I don't consider there to be any glory in what the armed forces do, but it takes a tremendous amount of bravery to put your life on the line for the protection and freedom of others. I think the honouring Armistice day is more important than ever now WW1 has slipped from living memory.

Ceremonies give some people a sense of belonging and I think that with that comes respect for yourself and respect for others.
Plan on attending church with me next time I'm visiting. ;)

One step closer to Lawful Good, eh?
Something like that ;)
Seriously though, yes I'd like that. Getting Mattgreen into a church ain't never gonna happen, so it'd be nice to go, especially if there's carols involved. I bloody love carols.
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