Generation Award winner and former Boy Scout, Chris Pratt, had inspiring advice for today’s youth during the MTV Movie & TV Awards show on June 18, 2018. He began his acceptance speech talking about his family and his son who will one day watch this. Chris Pratt then gladly accepted the role as the next generation’s elder and proceeded to give what he called “9 Rules from Chris Pratt,” telling the audience to “listen up.”
You may have seen these 9 rules on social media, since youth seem to have soaked them in. The rules were simple and most had a powerful message behind them. We noticed that several of the rules have a direct relation to Scout values. Here are a few of the topics in Chris Pratt’s nine rules that parallel some of Scouting’s most well-known values:
Rule #2 – “You have a soul. Be careful with it.”
Though this rule was short and to the point, it’s heavy with meaning. Every human being on this earth has a soul that is of worth and should be respected. In the Scout Oath, Scouts promise to do their best to keep themselves morally straight by setting high standards for themselves and to not deviate or compromise their integrity. Scouts can protect their souls by standing on higher ground and striving to be morally clean.
Rule #3 – “Don’t be a [jerk].”
(He didn’t actually say ‘jerk,’ but we like to restrict scat talk to the Mammal Studies merit badge.)
“If you’re strong, be a protector and if you’re smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons and do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.”
The Scout Oath and Law both demonstrate said actions–Scouts will do their best to help other people at all times. A Scout is:
Helpful – Giving aid or assistance. Serving others.
Friendly – Inclined to help or support.
Courteous – Showing good manners. Polite.
Kind – Considerate of others.
Rule #5 – “It doesn’t matter what it is, earn it.”
Chris tells youth to do “A good deed” or to “reach out to someone in pain, be of service. It feels good and it’s good for your soul.”
“Personal Growth” is one of the Boy Scouting Methods: “As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Youth grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn”
The Scouting organization teaches the importance of serving others and how that builds character and personal development. In order to advance through the Scouting ranks, Scouts must perform multiple hours of service. Even from an early age, (Cub) Scouts are encouraged to practice Friendly Service.
Rules #6 and #8 – “God is real” and “Learn to pray”
Not only did Chris Pratt say that God is real, but he also explained that “God loves you” and “wants the best for you.”
Scouts have a duty to God. Published in 1911, the first BSA Handbook for Boys says “no boy can grow into the best kind of citizenship without recognizing his obligation to God.” Faith is a complicated subject but is a vital part of the Scouting organization. Scouts are to acknowledge and build a relationship (learn to pray) with God while fulfilling their duty to God. What does ‘Duty to God’ mean to you?
Rule #9 – “Nobody is perfect.”
Finally, Chris Pratt ends with his last, certainly not least, rule: “Nobody is perfect. People are going to tell you that you are perfect just the way you are. You’re NOT. You are imperfect. You always will be. But, there is a powerful force that designed you that way. And if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace and grace is a gift. And that the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace, was paid for by somebody else’s blood. Do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted.”
One of the three Scouting Aims is Character Development, which includes Scouts understanding their personal qualities, values, and outlook and putting them to positive action. When Scouts understand that they are not perfect but are purposely made that way, they’ll better understand who they are.
Then, Scouts can have grace and humble themselves as they follow the Scout Ideals. The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan. Scouts measure themselves against these ideals and continually try to improve. The goals are high, and as Scouts reach for them, they have some control over what they become. ‘‘Show Scout spirit,’’ a requirement for rank advancement, means living up to these ideals.
The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. It helps when influencers like Chris Pratt share ideas that reinforce Scouting values.
How will you apply these rules and Scouting values to be a better person and live a greater life?