Nov 2, 2008

Posted by in Living By A Code | Comments Off on 6th Tenet of the Code – Be Prepared

6th Tenet of the Code – Be Prepared

6th Tenet of the Code


The Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions.  It was intended to reflect some very basic core values that all men could rally behind and support.


Back in the late 1990s the men of the Western Region created an ark which contained 15 different pieces of word. Each stick was made of a specific type of wood and bore a specific design that reflected the way in which the men of the Western Region related to the tenets of the Code of Honor. The ark has made its way throughout North America and men throughout MDI have had the opportunity to connect with it.  I had the honor serving as the caretaker for the ark and was moved to write a bit on how I related to the Code.


Be Prepared


The wood represntating this tenet is Pine – Pine trees are prepared for every element.  They are flexible enough to sway in strong winds.  Their branches can sag to the ground with ice and snow without breaking and bounce back with resiliency with the thaw.  Their sap cools in summer and warms in winter.  They stand ever green, always prepared.


The symbol for this tenet is the  Squirrel who gathers nuts to prepare for a hard winter ahead.




The saying, “Be Prepared” has been popularized by the Boy Scouts.  Imagine a young scout marching off to the woods for his first overnight.  He has his compass, his tent, his sleeping bag, knife, and poncho.  He is ready for anything the physical elements may throw at him.  He knows first aid and knows how to signal for help if he is in trouble.  He can care for his physical well being.  This level of preparation is important.  It is good to anticipate what the elements may throw at you and be ready to answer in kind.  This level of preparation helps us succeed in our jobs and at many daily tasks. 


            However, there is another level of preparation.  It is the level within.  Will all the tools and tricks help that boy scout deal with the emotions of his first night away from home.  Has he been prepared for that?  Are you prepared for the unexpected?  Can you be?


          I have always considered the notion of being prepared to require me to fully embrace all that I don’t know and to run through my head all the various and sundry possibilities that might arise.  It does not require me to know how I will act in a  given circumstance because you can never anticipate all the possible variables.  It just requires that I not be taken by surprise by what might occur.


         I am a big proponent of lving in the moment and to do that I need to avoid the distraction of surprise.  A deer freezes from the headlights of an oncoming car because it has no experience to help it process what that light might be, so it literally stops in its tracks.  However a deer that has seen a member of the herd get picked off by an on coming car knows what those lights represent and will move and move quickly.


 As humans we live our lives in relationship with others.   Being prepared calls upon us to know when and how to turn to those relationships to ensure we have what we need and are not left like a lone deer standing paralyzed in the path of an on coming truck.   

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