Be Prepared

Scouts…every Monday night we stand up and recite the Boy Scout Oath and the Boy Scout Law. But we usually leave out the Slogan and the Motto. I don’t know why we do that because they are very important pieces of the Scouting program.

Last night, I wasn’t sleepy and I was flipping around with the remote trying to find something to watch. I happened on an interview with a man named Mark Cuban. Mr. Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks Professional Basketball team. He is a billionaire. Just listening to the man talk, it was evident that he has more money than he knows what to do with.

The interviewer asked Mr. Cuban if he could have another sports team in a different sport, what would it be. Mr. Cuban didn’t even bat an eye as he told about his plans to purchase the Pittsburg Pirates Baseball team, but he said that the Pirates were not ready to sell. And he talked briefly about his interest in the Chicago Cubs. It was again evident that he could do this if he wanted. The money was there.

The Interviewer said that it was obvious that Mr. Cuban was very successful and asked him how he got started. That’s when it really got interesting. Mr. Cuban said that he started as a twelve year old going door to door selling plastic garbage bags. He said that the garbage bag job taught him some important lessons about life.

He said that when he went up on the porch and knocked on a door, he had no idea who would answer the door and he had no idea what questions he would be asked. So he researched and learned all he could about those garbage bags so that it didn’t matter who answered the door and it didn’t matter what question they asked because he would have the self confidence to answer any question. Because he had prepared. He prepared enough that he could give himself the best possible chance to sell those bags.

Mr. Cuban went on to say that everyone wants to compete and that everyone wants to win…but very few want to spend the extra time it takes to prepare. Preparation gives you that extra edge on the competition and enhances your ability to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

Scouts, are you prepared? Are you prepared to be Patrol Leaders? Are you prepared to be a Senior Patrol Leader? Are you prepared for winter camping? Are you prepared to teach a class to a younger scout? Are you prepared for the merit badge class you were in tonight? Are you prepared for the classes in school you will be taking tomorrow? Are you prepared for life? Are you giving yourself, through preparation, the chance to seize the opportunities that will come your way?

Mr. Cuban apparently kept his eye on the prize. He prepared himself for each new opportunity. And he is successful because of it.

Scouts, remember…to be prepared.

© Bill Shaffer 2006