Posted On: 2018-06-05
I had a chance to ride a horse on a narrow trail in the foothills of the Appalachians. When I started out on the horseback ride, the road was wide, but soon became a single track, just wide enough for the horse to follow our leader obediently down the path. I was instructed not to pull to tightly on the horse's reins, and that no kicking of the horse's ribs would be necessary. All I had to do, was pull lightly to the left or the right, and make a little click-click sound, and the horse would follow its leader with no further thought. The trail became very steep, and partially washed out, but the horse did an excellent job of keeping its eyes on its trainer, who was always in front. I was very glad as we wound our way up and down the steep hilly narrow trail that my horse was very good at following the leader and being obedient to the training that the horse had received.
We need to remember, that obedience is a learned behavior. We are prone to the influence of wanting to do things our own way, and not following the new teaching or training that we have been given. Are we willing students? Are we looking for ways to learn new things and find better ways to become the best person that we can be? Scouting is a good way for young people to learn about being obedient. Being obedient isn’t something that is taught very much in today's society, but it is encouraged and demonstrated in Scouting.
An obedient plant?
There is a plant that grows wild in North America called the Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) This plant got its common name because you can bend the individual flowers in any direction you like. Being obedient is like this plant…we can be bent (trained, taught, instructed) to do things in life a certain way if we are willing to learn and practice new skills and mentoring that we have an opportunity to gain. If we, like the Obedient plant, are willing to be bent, to be taught to follow directions and be respectful, then we can grow up well and gain the best version of ourselves that there possibly is.