His Excellency Fidel V. Ramos
President of the Philippines
On the Scout Bronze Wolf Award
[Delivered at the Heroes’ Hall, Malacañang, March 8, 1993]
Good deeds and
the social purpose
PEOPLE’S MOTIVES are not always what they appear to be. For instance, there was this very nice little boy in Boy Scout uniform who helped a nun cross the street. He was very solicitous, guiding her carefully through traffic. And he gave her a smart Boy Scout salute when they reached the other side.
“Thank you very much, young man,” said the very impressed nun.
“Oh, that’s all right,” said the scout. “Any friend of Batman is a friend of mine.”
Of course we can all overdo this-helping-a-little-lady-cross-the-street good deed. This other Boy Scout showed up at the troop meeting with a black eye. When his scoutmaster asked him what had happened, he replied he had tried to help a little old lady cross the street.
“How in the world,” asked the scoutmaster, “could you get a black eye doing that?” To which the scout replied, “she didn’t want to go.”
An education for life
Despite occasional setbacks like that, scouting is fun with a purpose. It is an education for life. And I am greatly pleased that the scout movement is so vigorous in the Philippines.
Although scouting is both nonpolitical and nongovernment, it complements my Government’s efforts to empower ordinary people so that they can take control of their lives.
Development cannot happen for all our people without their participation. We mean to unleash the dormant energies of ordinary Filipinos—especially young Filipinos—by encouraging them to band together in groups that will pursue their collective interests.
Empowerment entails ordinary people making personal commitments—gathering together to learn to work in small groups and develop leadership, group skills and individual responsibility.
This is also scouting’s working method. We intend to borrow some of scouting’s philosophies and its techniques to empower our young people.
A revolutionary force
In a country of the young—as we are—young people can be a decisive—even a revolutionary—force. That idealism, that sense of sacrifice—that social dimension to their code of living—we are channeling to creative purposes: to make the economy grow, to generate a new kind of politics, to promote social equality and to protect the integrity of our natural world.
This is why scouting is integral to our education system. Our Secretary of Education is a mandated member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. I assure you all who care for scouting in this country that my Government shall continue giving our scout movement all the support it needs to expand and to grow.
Source: Presidential Museum and Library
Ramos, F. V. (1993). A call to duty : citizenship and civic responsibility in a third world democracy. [Manila] : Friends of Steady Eddie.