Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Discussing Monday's attack with scouts


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Cambridgeskip

Cambridgeskip

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 827 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 01:49 AM

First of all if this is more appropriate to the politics section please feel free to move.

 

Anyway, I got asked yesterday by @Tampa Turtle how my scouts had reacted to Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester and what I would say to them. Fact is as we meet on a Thursday I haven’t seen them to know. What I plan on saying, should they want to talk about it this evening, is this.

 

Monday night’s events were tragic, evil and horrifying. I am not going to pretend to understand what goes on in the head of the people that do these things. I fear that unless you are a professional in the field, a psychologist, a sociologist or whatever then that way lies madness. What I do know though is that these events are very rare.

 

It’s easy to see the 24 hour rolling news coverage on tv and the internet, the endless pages printed in the hard copy press, and think that these attacks are happening all the time. That everywhere we go there is someone trying to do us harm. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. These events are vanishingly rare, it is the endless news coverage that makes us think that they are common. The vast majority of days there are no attacks. The vast majority of places will never see an attack. The vast majority of us will never be anywhere near one. There are fewer terrorist deaths every year now then there were in the 1980s when I was a kid and the IRA were at it.

 

The fact is that unless you are into something seriously dangerous like cave diving, unless you work somewhere very dangerous like the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, unless you do something utterly stupid like have a crack habit, the most dangerous thing any of us will do today is cross the street, cycle to school or drive to work, something that kills about 5 people a day in this country.

 

Let’s mourn the dead, let’s catch and lock up the people who did this. But don’t forget to live your life. Don’t live in pointless fear. It’s a beautiful day out there* today. Go and enjoy it.

 

And look both ways before you cross the street!

 

*After what has been a pretty chilly spring so far the sun has come out this side of the pond this week. Wall to wall sunshine, day after day. This is the UK so it will be heaving it down with rain next week so we're all making the most of it :)


  • 1

#2 qwazse

qwazse

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6836 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:00 AM

If it helps, let them know that folks here have their country in the center of their prayers.
The courtesy that residents of Manchester had shown to stranded travelers has also been part of the news cycle.
The malice of our sworn enemies should always be eclipsed by our compassion.
  • 0

#3 Stosh

Stosh

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 12459 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:58 AM

This is always  a tough one.  for millennia humans have waged war on each other for a number of reasons, land, wealth, power, etc. yet even the savagery of the past doesn't compare to the scope and ferocity of today's religious holocaust.  There was agreements and understandings that don't apply today.  but it has only been in recent years that history has shown what such destruction based on intangible ideology can wreck.  This is uncharted territory in many respects and it's going to take a global effort to put a halt to it.  I don't see it happening very quickly..  

 

From the time of the early Greeks, mankind has sought to better itself through technological and philosophical expansion.  The Greeks and the Romans held it together pretty well.  The polytheistic attitudes of the times pretty much followed the "live and let live" ideal as long as no one made waves.  In many respects civilization flourished.  The Library at Alexandria held a wealth of knowledge that when that was destroyed, humanity plunged into a morass of pain that lasted for over many generations until humans figured out it wasn't working.  Much of what we base our current state of affairs on has simply been a rediscovery of what others once knew.  

 

What surprises me the most is that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all based on the same principles of civilization, the 10 Commandments, and yet these seem to be the focus of today's strife.  Go figure.  It makes no sense whatsoever.  But when one accompanies that ideology with fanaticism, the power to stop it becomes more difficult.  And to what end?  Whereas today's Islamism struggles to gain power and control over others, they will soon realize that once the tables are turned, the process merely starts over coming the other direction.  There will always be those that don't buy into the system even if that's what has occurred.  

 

Persecution has always been part of our history.  2,000 years ago, the Christians were severely persecuted, then the Reformation came along and Christians started persecuting Christians.  The Jews haven't fared all that well over those 2,000 years either.  Once Islam began it's religious imperialism during the Crusade period, they have joined in the fray.  The Greek and Roman ideology of live and let live collapsed when the empire disintegrated.

 

The destruction of human knowledge and achievement, coupled with today's technology has the potential of once again putting humankind back into the stone age.  And for what reason?  Political and religious ideology that history has proven over and over again, simply simply doesn't work, can't be sustained, and ruins the lives of millions in the process.

 

America once touted itself success on being the melting pot of the world, yet today's political climate of intolerance permeates every corner of the nation.  This destructive downward cycle will insure that the lesson not learned from the destruction of the Library at Alexandria will only set back civilization and it's technological advancements for hundreds of years.

 

What the world decides in the next few years will determine the outcome of humanity.  After all 99% of all species that walked the face of this planet have become extinct, humanity may not be able to escape that same fate.  It's a choice we all need to make and be made soon.

 

The world wide brotherhood of Scouting is part of that choice.  Either one is for something or against it.  To sit on the fence is a useless choice.  It's time to bring in an era of tolerance, not lip-service tolerance, but real tolerance for one another.  That means saying no to the intolerant Christian, the intolerant Jew, the intolerant Muslim, the intolerant Atheist, etc.  The Greeks and Romans made the ideology of live and let live a reality, we've been destroying that ever since. 


  • 1

#4 MattR

MattR

    Member

  • Members
  • 1038 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 08:51 AM

Good points, Skip. But I'd gauge where the scouts are before talking about it. A lot of kids are not affected by the 24hr news cycle because they're more interested in playing video games. At the same time, if a kid is in shock about it then telling them to ignore it is not going to help. You have to accept where they're at. So maybe "go enjoy a rare day of sunshine, but if you're really upset by this then let's talk."

 

Every problem is an opportunity so who knows, maybe a discussion about the scout law might also help.

 

When 9/11 happened I was a den leader and what we mostly did was just watch the kids for unusual behavior. I think all the parents in my den just turned off the TV when their kids were around so the kids didn't see much. Kids talking doesn't have nearly the impact of seeing it on TV so we never even brought it up at den meetings.


  • 0

#5 qwazse

qwazse

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6836 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 09:26 AM

One other point. From acquiring enough boys who've earned the "behavior disorder" label.

 

Sometimes the greater fear isn't of an attack, but of becoming an attacker.


  • 0

#6 AltadenaCraig

AltadenaCraig

    Member

  • Members
  • 39 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 09:42 AM

Love all the tips.  Good stuff for Scoutmaster's Minute.  Here's one I've used (all too recently, unfortunately) from Clarke Green at scoutmastercg.com   http://scoutmastercg...-tragic-events/, in addition to his own comments, his post includes this timeless quote from Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood):

 

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." - Fred Rogers


  • 0

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep

but I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

—Robert Frost


#7 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Robert E. Lee - Patriot

  • Members
  • 1415 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:04 AM

I asked my teenagers what the talk in school was on this subject. According to them, most kids were worried about Arianna Grande, was she hurt and would her tour go on. My kids were personally disgusted by this lack of empathy for the true victims. Thankfully, the Scouts had a moment of silence at the meeting this week. Totally their idea.


  • 0

#8 RememberSchiff

RememberSchiff

    Your Friendly Neighborhood ModeratorMan

  • Moderators
  • 3003 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:51 AM

IMO, the discussion to have is that Scouts are the helpers. How should Scouts respond? Help other people at all times.


  • 0

#9 NJCubScouter

NJCubScouter

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 6313 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

Thankfully, the Scouts had a moment of silence at the meeting this week. Totally their idea.

 

That's an interesting idea. I am not sure the Scouts in our troop have ever done anything like that.  I am not sure that this tragedy would prompt them to do so any more than all the other tragedies that have taken place, both in this country and elsewhere.  Although somewhere in my vague recollection it is possible that at the time of the shootings at the school in Connecticut, one of the adults may have asked for a moment of silence during the opening of the next troop meeting.  I know we had some recognition of 9/11 in my son's Cub Scout pack, though the pack meeting itself was probably weeks after the event.


  • 0

#10 Col. Flagg

Col. Flagg

    Robert E. Lee - Patriot

  • Members
  • 1415 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:18 AM

That's an interesting idea. I am not sure the Scouts in our troop have ever done anything like that.  I am not sure that this tragedy would prompt them to do so any more than all the other tragedies that have taken place, both in this country and elsewhere.  

 

We have a family in the unit from England (Manchester). That's why.


  • 0

#11 Cambridgeskip

Cambridgeskip

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 827 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:27 AM

Good points, Skip. But I'd gauge where the scouts are before talking about it. A lot of kids are not affected by the 24hr news cycle because they're more interested in playing video games. At the same time, if a kid is in shock about it then telling them to ignore it is not going to help. You have to accept where they're at. So maybe "go enjoy a rare day of sunshine, but if you're really upset by this then let's talk."
 
Every problem is an opportunity so who knows, maybe a discussion about the scout law might also help.
 
When 9/11 happened I was a den leader and what we mostly did was just watch the kids for unusual behavior. I think all the parents in my den just turned off the TV when their kids were around so the kids didn't see much. Kids talking doesn't have nearly the impact of seeing it on TV so we never even brought it up at den meetings.


I agree, it's not something I'm planning on bringing up unless they want to.

I asked my teenagers what the talk in school was on this subject. According to them, most kids were worried about Arianna Grande, was she hurt


Not an entirely daft thought to be honest. Imagine being in your early 20s, travelling round the world where people come from miles around in their thousands to see you perform. We've all done worse things to pay the bills! She must have been having the time of her life.

Then this happens. 22 people are dead Including an 8 year old girl.

I suspect she's in pieces.
  • 0

#12 NJCubScouter

NJCubScouter

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 6313 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:38 AM

We have a family in the unit from England (Manchester). That's why.

 

That would do it.


  • 0

#13 mashmaster

mashmaster

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 634 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 12:06 PM

Last night at our meeting I discussed it with the boys.  I started with the famous Mr. Rogers' quote 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Then I talked about the normal people at or around the event that did what they could do to help.  I tried to make sure we focused on those people rather than the specifics of the act itseld.

 

Discussed how we are preparing them for the unexpected and challenged them to be the helpers.

 

Many of my boys came up afterwards saying how they thought it really good.


  • 0

#14 Rick_in_CA

Rick_in_CA

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 709 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 08:03 PM

This is always  a tough one.  for millennia humans have waged war on each other for a number of reasons, land, wealth, power, etc. yet even the savagery of the past doesn't compare to the scope and ferocity of today's religious holocaust.  There was agreements and understandings that don't apply today.  but it has only been in recent years that history has shown what such destruction based on intangible ideology can wreck.  This is uncharted territory in many respects and it's going to take a global effort to put a halt to it.  I don't see it happening very quickly..

I agree with a lot that you wrote here, but not with the bit quoted above. The idea that we currently seeing savagery that is new or unique is wrong. If we look at history, we can see many examples of unbelievable cruelty and violence in the name of religion. Here are a just two examples out of European history: The Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in which some 200,000 to 1,000,000 men, women and children were killed. The 30 years war that lead to some 7.5 million dead (has been classes as the deadliest religious war in European history). Unfortunately there are a lot of others.

 

And like those past conflicts, the current one isn't just about ideology, but it is also about wealth and power also.


  • 0

#15 Stosh

Stosh

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 12459 posts

Posted 25 May 2017 - 09:13 PM

Wealth and power are akin to taking dirt out of the ground.  It's tangible and it leaves a hole and is measurable.  Faith in one's religion is intangible and is akin to taking water out of the lake.  Good luck with trying to measure that,


  • 0

#16 Cambridgeskip

Cambridgeskip

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 827 posts

Posted 26 May 2017 - 12:22 AM

The topic didn't come up in the end. They were too busy burning stuff, scouts being, well, scouts!


  • 1

#17 mashmaster

mashmaster

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 634 posts

Posted 26 May 2017 - 03:14 PM

The topic didn't come up in the end. They were too busy burning stuff, scouts being, well, scouts!

Awesome!   

 

Wait a minute.....  are those girls?    Oh, that is another thread here :-)   I am happy they are having fun scouting!


  • 0

#18 Cambridgeskip

Cambridgeskip

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 827 posts

Posted 27 May 2017 - 01:09 AM

Awesome!   
 
Wait a minute.....  are those girls?    Oh, that is another thread here :-)   I am happy they are having fun scouting!


They are indeed some of my girls :)
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users