It has been our tradition on the Voice of Scouting to post inspiring Scout messages based on the Scout Law for twelve days leading up to Christmas Day. The fifth day of the 12 days of a Scout Christmas reminds us that a Scout is courteous. 

You can discuss the meaning of courtesy with your Scouts and ask them why it is important to be polite and courteous to others. What message does courtesy send about ourselves? How does it show our respect for others?

Lesson From An Unusual Source: Fraser
My husband suggested I watch Blast From the Past, starring 90’s icon Branden Fraser, with him yesterday.
From the show, I learned about a quality that many movie heroes in the modern world lack: courtesy. 
Fraser plays Adam Webber, a young man who was born and raised in a bomb shelter after his parents think an atomic bomb went off in 1962. In 1999, he comes out of the shelter to encounter the world and find himself a wife.
Adam Webber has exceptional manners, as he parents raised him up like the culture they came from in 1962.
He does things we just don’t see in today’s world. He asks if others will excuse him from the room. In one scene, he pulls back another man from entering the room first, explaining that women should enter first.
His friend Troy tells why Adam is so courteous. “He said, good manners are just a way of showing other people we have respect for them. See, I didn’t know that, I thought it was just a way of acting all superior,” said Troy. 
In today’s world, we may have similar feelings as Troy. We may believe that courtesy is almost stiff and formal. Teenagers, especially, may think that it’s cooler to put down friends in jest or be crass. Sometimes, we believe that courageous people are people who are bold and demanding rather than people who have good manners.

These assumptions are incorrect. Like Adam teaches Troy, courtesy is a way of showing respect. It is a way that we can help others know we appreciate them. It is still important to say thank you, to open the door for women, to have good table manners, and, especially, to be kind and respectful toward those around us. 

While Adam is fictional, the truth is taught—Courtesy should not die out. Our Scouts need to know this. They need to know that time does not erase the need for common courtesy in our world. In fact, with so little courtesy existing, they will shine if they choose to be courteous to others. 

For the next twelve days, visit 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, braveclean, and reverent.

Photo credit: Charlie Lewellen, Wikimedia Images

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