Guys, I’m messed up and I think Girl Scouts played a decent role in the messing.
I don’t know what it’s like today, but we had this motto or way of doing things when I was a scout as a kid. We never left a place the way we found it; it was always better for our having been there. We rarely made messes and when we did, we always cleaned up after ourselves. But restoring something to what it was before wasn’t enough. It had to be better. We never visited a camp without an improvement project.
And I think that sort of impressed this idea in me that I needed to save the world. I needed to make things around me better. I couldn’t go somewhere and not clean up after myself (at least without feeling guilty). I hear every causes needed and want to make it better. And I can’t meet people and not want to help them improve and be their best selves.
That might sound a little narcissistic, like, “oh hey, I’m so great and I make the world a better place.” But I don’t meant it like that, I mean it like, I have this desire and this sense of responsibility to places, things, and especially people better off than when I found them. And recently considering enrolling my own daughter in Girl Scouts brought this all back to me. It’s Girl Scouts’ fault.
Please note that I’m kind of kidding, here. I’m not mad a Girl Scouts of America. I don’t even think this is a fault, necessarily. Only in some cases has it had a negative impact on my life, although the negative impacts have often been great. I appreciate that I was taught the value of compassion and care at young age, and most of it is something I do believe I was born with (you just can’t teach empathy).
But in some cases, it’s been at the expense of myself, my sanity, my family, or even my faith that I’ve pursued this with people, most specifically.
I’ve been in some really toxic relationships, romantic and platonic alike, all in the name of helping someone be better. I’ve been made a fool of more times that I care to admit. And even now, even after all these lessons, you’d think I wouldn’t want to help another soul… but I do.
When soemone I love is self destructing, I still want to be by their side.
When I think someone is just using me for money, I still don’t want them to suffer.
When someone is lying to me, I still try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
When I say I’m cutting soemone off, I still feel compelled to reach out a helping hand when I see them foundering.
Because, honestly – it’s less about them and who they are or what they’re doing, and it’s more about me, being who I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to do REGARDLESS of them. Because that’s GRACE.
And what I’ve been shown is what I intend to give. Regardless. I’ll be more careful with my heart, my time, my trust, and my money, but I certainly won’t stop helping.
I try to play the hard ass, tough lover sometimes. And sometimes it works. But give me a few hours, tops, and Sammi-Save-the-World will start to come out of her shell and speak tenderly to her no-fucks-to-give, evil twin sister.
And, she usually brings cookies.