The sixth day of the 12 days of a Scout Christ­mas reminds us that a Scout is kind. To be kind means you are generous, affectionate and considerate. You show forth kindness when you serve others with pure love and understanding.

There is an abundance of kind people. Years ago, I read the book “City of Joy”. It was about the horrors of poverty in Calcutta, India with an emphasis on how kind the people were to each other. Although it only briefly mentioned my kind historical person, it opened my eyes to Mother Teresa, now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and how one kind person can change the lives of multitudes.

As a young person, she dedicated her life to Jesus Christ.  When she became a nun, she was sent to Calcutta to teach poor children. She was disturbed by the  conditions outside of the school and said Jesus Christ appeared to her and asked her to help all the downtrodden of  Calcutta. It took her two years to receive permission to change her calling. In 1950 she founded the Order of Missionaries of Charity. With a handful of people, she set up dispensaries, soup kitchens, schools, a home for the lepers, and brought hope to the blind and disabled of Calcutta. As her work progressed she focused on those who had no hope, no ability to pull themselves up, people dying from aids and other diseases. She walked among the poor and administered to them, in her familiar white sari with the blue stripe, treating all kindly. Her work among the poor did not go unnoticed as volunteers and money started to arrive. The Missionaries of Charity expanded to include over 4,000 nuns in more than 100 countries.

In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, giving the money right back into her cause. In 2016, after attributing two miracles to her she became a Saint in the Catholic church.

As a Scout and a human being, we might not be able to do as much as Saint Teresa, but have you ever heard of random acts of kindness? I try to practice that every time I am out. I let people in my lane of cars, I let people with a few groceries go ahead of me in line. I smile at people (surprise, a lonely face smiles back). I always hold open doors for everyone, and I always offer to help anyone in need.  Try it, you’ll feel great.

Start this Christmas, and make it a resolution for the new year to be a kinder Scout.

Continue vis­iting the Voice of Scout­ing to find inspir­ing Christ­mas mes­sages based on the twelve points of the Scout Law: A Scout is trust­wor­thy, loy­al, help­ful, friend­ly, cour­te­ous, kind, obe­di­ent, cheer­ful, thrifty, brave, clean and rev­er­ent.

This year, the Christ­mas mes­sages will focus on the lives of his­tor­i­cal fig­ures and times when they exem­pli­fied a point of the Scout Law.

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Joyce Olesen
is a grandmother, mother, and daughter of Scouters. She love kids, camping, country music and sport cars. Her Dad was a Scout leader in Chicago in the early 1920’s and having only daughters did not bolster his Scouting hopes. As his "Scout" she was tying regulation knots by the time she was 7.

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