Christopher Reeve was a movie actor who played the part of Superman. At the time, everything was going right for him. He had a successful acting career and a nice family; he was seemingly all set for a wonderful life. Then he had a horse-riding accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. All he could move was his neck a little bit—he couldn’t even breathe on his own. It looked like everything had changed for Chris, and that the rest of his life would be very dismal.
It was true that nearly everything had changed for Chris. Two things that hadn’t changed were his positive attitude and the people around him who really cared. Chris fought the desperate feeling of being paralyzed, the fear of his breathing machine shutting off and no one being there to help him, the fear of anything happening and not being able to do anything about it, not even yelling for help. He worked hard to get some “feeling” (if that is what it could be called) and learned to breathe somewhat on his own—he learned to talk by drawing in a mouthful of air and slowly letting it out past his voice box. This took hours and hours of painful, scary work, but with his positive attitude and other people helping, he improved his situation.
He said in an interview that life is like a game of cards. If you enjoy the game and you want a chance at winning, you will keep playing cards. Sometimes you get a good hand with a lot of face cards and sometimes not. You have to play with the cards you are dealt. There is always a chance that you will win. If the game is worth playing, you will keep playing.
In the 1936 third edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters, “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt referred to Scouting as “A Game with a Purpose.” The Scouting program has had its own share of challenges in the past 24 months which has made us feel “paralyzed” at times. Being unable to meet in person, go to summer camp, go on outings, and constantly wondering if we and our families will remain healthy and safe.
We must remember that the game of Scouting is worth playing. The Purpose of that game has not changed. The struggles we face together, the challenges we overcome together, all have the same result… to provide the best youth leadership and character development program for our young people. Thank you for being here tonight. Thank you for doing what you do to keep playing the game. Let’s all continue to keep our spirits high, look forward to a better tomorrow, and do our best to fight off the fear of losing, and encourage our fellow leaders, Scouts, and families to keep playing “the game.”