Many Good Turns
Posted On: 2009-01-02
Back when Scouting was young, one of our national leaders was Ernest Thompson Seton. He was called the Chief Scout and he often visited troops and asked Scouts about the Good Turns they had done.
He wrote a story about one of his visits in Boys' Life in 1912. To understand the story you have to know that in those days there were no automatic washing machines. Clothes were scrubbed in washtubs and wrung out by a machine called a mangle which you operated by turning a crank.
Seton asked a Scout about any Good Turns he had done, and the Scout said, "I guess I did a good many Good Turns. " He explained, "My mother, she takes in washing, and I turned the mangle, and I guess I gave it a good many good turns. "
The other Scouts laughed, of course, but Seton asked him, "Was it your regular job to turn the mangle, and did you get paid for it?" "No," the Scout said.
Seton replied, "Well, then, you did your good turn all right enough, and one of the very best kind. "
As you can see from this story, the Good Turn has been around for a long time. And it's the same thing it was then - an act of kindness for which you don't get paid.