It’s Not Just about the Cookies
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
It’s Not Just about the CookiesWhat the Girl Scouts Can Teach Us.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America. I was absolutely delighted to discover that she was one of the participants in one of my workshops. I had to admit to her at the onset of our conversation that the Girl Scouts was not an item on my radar. Essentially, I said, I associate the Girl Scouts with cookies. She said, “As does everyone else.”
Turns out the Girl Scouts are involved in far more enterprising activities than cookie sales. For instance, they reach out to girls who have been prostitutes and drug users and introduce them to the values and benefits of joining a Girl Scout troop. The support these girls find from being a part of a Girl Scout troop is astonishing. Then came the other astonishing tidbits, the sort that leaves you breathless for all the wrong reasons.
CEO Tamara Woodbury asked me this question, “What do you think the biggest obstacle is to inspiring girls to becoming leaders in our society?” Having just spoken about the values that the Girl Scouts stand for and consciously make an effort to communicate to their girls – honor, integrity, loyalty, courage, and patriotism – I replied that they must view leadership as a choice that would interfere with other interests.
“No,” she said. “The majority of girls feel that in order to be a leader in today’s society, they have to become liars and they do not want to compromise the values they are learning as Girl Scouts in order to become leaders.”
In the minds of these young women, leadership and lying have become one and the same choice. A leader is a liar—simple as that. Obviously we can find leaders who are not liars – sure we can. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is that these girls now associate the entire call to leadership as a compromise of integrity and honor. And whose fault is that? Surely we must all ask ourselves that question.
As we look upon our society—and others, if you want to open your eyes that wide – who stands out as a statesman or woman, as a worthy leader? How many do we have, given the size of our planetary community and the scope of the crises facing this planet? Why are we so tragically, painfully shy of real leadership? Have we just tossed in the towel?
Like our precious youth, we, too, know we are being lied to. We, too, know we are being assaulted by negative ads designed to generate fear and hate while never hearing honest, clear, clean statements.
Like our Girl Scouts and probably our young Boy Scouts, we should be looking for any evidence of integrity and refusing to settle for anyone who has to rely on negativity and lies in order to qualify to lead. We owe our youth a better example of what we demand from our leaders. When I hear cheap political ads—which only happens when I can’t get to the mute button—I am left feeling insulted. I am not inspired; I am not motivated; I am insulted.
If we ever intend to have a nation of true and honorable leaders again, then it is up to us to lead the way, even in small ways. The message is simple and the same no matter which party: We are not listening to negative lies any longer. Either say something truthful and inspiring, or we will “mute you.”
And enjoy a Girl Scout cookie while the mute button is on.