Submitted by BraveMoon Troop Leader
This week, one little Brownie is struggling to complete a big project, a Respect project. Something she has no GSUSA booklet mapping the requirements for, because she felt her actions toward her sisters and leaders were much less than respectful and she takes her Promise seriously.
She had just been hurt emotionally by someone after making an immense charitable effort on their part, as the cynical saying goes: No good deed goes un-punished. In her pain she lashed out, making poor choices, despite loving her troop sisters and her leaders.
As soon as the poor choices were made she yearned to take them back, but alas, words spoken cannot be unspoken, sand cannot be put back into the glass.
This little Brownie however knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she was wrong and that it is her duty to make amends to those she hurt. To study and learn again to ‘Respect [herself] and Others’ even to the point of publically denouncing herself, sacrificing her own personal goals and accomplishments, only to seek forgiveness, because she does respect herself and knows she respects no one who does not take ‘Responsibility for what they say and do’.
I know her troop immediately forgave her unconditionally, as her troop has grown to have the deep sisterhood that is intended to be shared amongst Girl Scouts everywhere, but she still feels it neccessary to make the formal effort.
She told this leader that “if we assume everything will be OK we will have no one to lean on when it is not,” I took it to mean “you never fully appreciate what you have until it is gone” and when she asked me if I had ever made a “bad choice” before, that broke a promise I had made, I told her in complete honesty: “Yes, I have. I had to work hard to fix it and I remember every day what happened because of my poor choice so that I hopefully will not make it again. Even Leaders make mistakes, what makes you a good leader is what you do when you realize you have lost your way, made a mistake.”
This little Brownie asked me to write a blog submisson, she wishes not to be named or her troop number be mentioned, as she does not seek recognition from others. She wants to help others who may have made a mistake “to gain the courage to make it better,” even if they are embarrassed. Her troop sisters will recieve her Respect Project at their next Troop meeting.
As one of her adult leaders I am glad her troop sisters have such a good leader in their midst, it will be a blessing when she receives their forgiveness and she earns their respect back.
Thank you for allowing me to share her learning experience.
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