This morning I received an email from Katie P. who is still working feverishly to help the counties pull together their materials for the Nebraska State Fair. And, while what I’m going to talk about wasn’t the intent of Katie’s email, at the bottom of her email she had a seemingly unobtrusive quote by Forest Witcraft. “One hundred years from now it won’t matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank, nor what my clothes looked like BUT the world may be a little better because, I was important in the life of a child.”
I thought perhaps many of us would benefit from seeing the quote in context which was published in the October 1950 issue of Scouting magazine.
“….I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated. I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority.
Yet I may someday mold destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.
A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.
A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.
These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.
All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.
A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.”
I know it’s hard sometimes to push forward when we aren’t quite sure what the impact of our work is (in this pandemic environment) or how to assess much less report it….but know this…you are making a difference in the lives of Nebraskans. And that difference may be in ways you may never be able to measure in your lifetime. Keep plugging forward and doing the best you can to assess your impact…but celebrate the invisible impacts that your work will undoubtedly have for decades or perhaps centuries to come.
Thanks Katie for the inspiration!!!!