Monday, April 23, 2012

the brownie promise

{Girl Guide Cookie Box, circa 1978}

The other week, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends of ours....with sunny weather upon us, it's so nice to spend time with friends, eating great food grilled on the BBQ and fine wine.  Towards the end of the evening (and a few glasses of red!), we had an interesting conversation about how the working world has changed, and how we work so much harder...and receive so much less.

Our friends talked about a colleague who was doing a contracted job building a hotel, and how the owner had changed some major design details and expected the contractor to make changes without the extra time and money to accommodate those changes.  But if those changes were not met within these new, unrealistic timelines and budget, they would NOT get paid for the work they've already completed.  I wonder how people can have the lack of moral or work ethics to behave this way, and wonder how they were raised, and I looked back at what I learned growing up. 

Girl Guide Cookie Box, circa 1991

As a little girl, I participated in Brownies/Girl Guides, which was hugely popular for little girls (as Scouts were to boys), nationwide.  Most vivid in my memory (other than the camping) was working to earn badges...badges that were given when you learned a new skill.  Looking back, these skills were basic life skills that I think helped with character building, and led the path to create confident, resourceful and responsible girls.  

I remember one of the first badges I had to work towards, was my "sewing" badge.  One of the tasks was to sew a button.  It was something I worked hard at to master, and with my little fingers, I finally learned sewed that button, and went further and sewed a name badge onto my sash.  When I received my first badge, it was like a badge of honour.  I worked hard, gave more than I was asked for, and rewarded accordingly. 

Girl Guide Cookie Box, circa 1996
I'm not sure if Girl Guides (or Boy Scouts) are as popular today as they were when I was growing up, but I wonder if we are now raising a generation of people who have a different loyalty and work ethic.   In such a fast paced world where we get cheap and instant gratification, are we setting up the younger generation for failure because they feel entitled and expect to receive everything, without paying or working for it.

"I will do my best to be, Honest and fair, Friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, 
Courageous and strong, Responsible for what I say and do, And to respect myself and others, 
Respect authority, Use resources wisely, Make the world a better place, And be sister to every Girl Scout." 
(Brownie/Girl Guide "Promise/Law".)

Girl Guide Cookie Box, 100th anniversary, circa 2010

{source for all images above:  HerStory, Girl Guides of Canada}

I wonder...what "promises" will be made by the next generation?

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