Scoutmaster Minute – May 2014

Everybody’s Canoe

A young Indian brave was busy at work carving a canoe out of a log. As he worked, members of his tribe passed by. They all had a piece of advice to offer the young man. “I think you are making your canoe too wide,” one of them said. The young brave, wishing to show respect for the advice of an elder, narrowed the canoe.

A little later, another warrior stopped and said, “I’m afraid that you are cutting your stern too full,” he said. Again the young brave listened to the advice of the elder and cut down the stern.

Very soon, yet another member of the tribe stopped, watched for a while, then commented, “The bow is too sheer.” The young brave accepted this advice as well and changed the line of the bow.

Finally, the canoe was complete and the young brave launched it. As soon as it hit the water, it capsized. Laboriously he hauled it back onto the beach. Then he found another log and began his work anew.Very soon, a member of his tribe stopped by to offer some advice, but this time the young brave was ready. “See that canoe over there?” he asked, pointing to the useless craft on the beach. “That is everybody’s canoe.” Then he nodded at his work in progress. “This one,” he said, “is my canoe.”

Listening to advice is always recommended, but in the end, you probably will be much more satisfied when you “build your own canoe”

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