A Lesson in Trust
Posted On: 2009-01-02
This is a "true" story I related to our Scouts.
It seems that before the first man walked on the moon, NASA found an area of New Mexico where the topography was similar to the surface of the moon. They decided that it would be a good idea to take the astronauts and the lunar lander there to check out the equipment. They arrived at the area and unloaded all their gear. During the second day while working with the equipment they noticed a flock of sheep on the horizon. As it drew closer they could see several dogs herding the flock and two Navaho Indians walking behind. The Scientists knew that they were Navaho because the reservation was near by. The Two Navaho Indians set down on the ridge and watched them work for several hours.
Seeing the Navahos watching them, two of the scientist decided to go talk to them. After walking up the ridge they soon discovered that the old Navaho could only speak in his native tongue but his son could speak English. The old man said several things and his son translated, "he says, what are those things down there?" The scientist explained that they were men in space suits and that they would be traveling to the moon by rocket and once there they would get out and be the first men to walk upon the moon. The old man nodded and said a few more words that the son translated "so, they will walk upon the moon?" And the scientist confirmed. The old man nodded and said a few more words. The son said, "he wants to know if he can send a message to the moon with these astronauts." At this the scientist became very excited and searched their gear until they found a tape recorder. The old Navaho recorded his message. The scientist asked the boy to translate but he wouldn't.
They worked about a month next to the reservation but every time they asked someone to translate the message they would listen to it, smile and shake their head no. Finally they found a Professor of Native American studies that agreed to translate the message in exchange for some funding on a research project. He listened to the tape and smiled. He said, "this message is a warning, it says, Look out for these guys, they are coming to steal your land."
You may wonder why I told this story as my Scoutmasters Minute. Our program element this month is Leadership and the reason the old Navaho sent this message was because he did not trust the white man. Trust is a very important part of Leadership. If you cannot trust your leader or he cannot trust you, your patrol will not be very effective. Trust is also very fragile, it takes only one action on your part to destroy the trust others have in you. Often times when trust is breached it can never be rebuilt. A Scout is Trustworthy. And now may the Master of all Scouts be with us till we meet again. Goodnight Scouts!
--Thanks to Greg Gough, SM Troop 201, Ozark, MO.