The second day of the 12 days of a Scout Christmas reminds us that a Scout is loyal. To be loyal means to be true to your family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation. Loyalty is also to be faithful to your ideals and what you know is right, no matter what others think or say.
Thomas Jefferson was born 1743 in Virginia as a British subject. By the age of 33, Jefferson was a full-blown revolutionary who was tasked with writing the document that would formally declare American independence from British rule. From the British perspective, this was a supreme act of disloyalty. So how can Thomas Jefferson teach us to live up to our promise to be loyal in the Scout Oath?
The Declaration of Independence, while an act of disloyalty to Britain, shows Jefferson’s loyalty to the principles that would guide his actions for his entire life. He explains that the separation from Britain is necessary in order for Americans to assume the “separate and equal station” that God and the laws of nature had entitled them. In the most famous line from that document, Jefferson goes on to say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In this revolutionary document, Jefferson is showing his true loyalty—not to the British crown, but to his fellow citizens, their well-being, and their right to pursue freedom, happiness, and prosperity.
Jefferson remained loyal to these principles and the country he had helped found based on these truths for the rest of his life. For him, loyalty never meant going along with whatever leaders said or did just because they were leaders. It meant doing what was best for others and for his country. When he became the third President of the United States in 1801, he worked to help the nation grow closer to the ideal that had inspired it despite political opposition even from his fellow founding fathers.
Thomas Jefferson showed his loyalty to his ideals, his fellow citizens, and to the country that helped promote those ideals throughout his life. May we all be inspired to be loyal to worthy causes and those around us.
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.