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Being Honest by Peter Van Houten



I'd like to share an experience I witnessed last night that exemplifies the virtues of honesty and the principles of being a Boy Scout!

Beyond my role of Scout leader I am also a little league coach for the minor league. I was scouting (interesting choice of terms here) the team we'll be playing tomorrow and noticed they had a very talented first baseman. He was older than the rest and already a good 5'5" tall. Unfortunately, he'd had the misfortune of a couple of bad plays which resulted in the runners advancing to 2nd base. He's also been getting some abuse from the other team for his size and race, being Indian (as from India).

Let me add that the other teams coach doesn't exactly have the personality that generates good sportsmanship, and I witnessed him chewing out a couple of his players for not running fast enough, or doing EXACTLY what he told them to do.

Now that I've set the scene we'll bring you into the 4th inning. Score is tied! Two outs! Saied (sp???) is playing 1st, runner currently on 2nd. The ball is pitched and hit to 2nd baseman who throws to 1st base. Saied catches ball as runner touches base, but ball rolls out of glove! Umpire calls runner OUT! The opposing coach and most of his parents went ballistic, and I mean Ballistic (with a Captial B). (Had I been the ump I would have thrown the guy out of the game) Anyway, the ump turns to Saied and says, "Did you have control of the ball before he touched the base." The pressure is on and you can see it on his face. Saied replied, "I caught the ball, but it rolled out. No!" The ump reverses her decision and calls the runner safe!

Reactions:

  • The opposing coach is relieved and makes a couple of choice comments about the ump's vision.
  • Saied is feeling he let his team down.
  • All the parents on Saied's team gives him a standing ovation for his honesty.

I approached Saied after the inning, shook his hand and complimented him on his honesty. I found out later through his coach that he was indeed a Boy Scout (just joined).

Here's a boy faced with a challenging decision that could have made a difference whether his team won or lost. He could have easily taken the easy way out and said Yes!, but regardless of the outcome, chose that being honest was the right way! This young man exemplified the Boy Scout principles. My hat goes off, and my hand extended in congratulating young men who when faced with such decisions choose the right way!

--Thanks to Peter Van Houten, peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM


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