Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Søren Kierkegaard – Danish philosopher and theologian 1813-1855.
There’s a great divide we cross sometime in our adulthood where we are better able to examine and understand the lives we have lived. Most of us who volunteer in Scouting have crossed that divide while the Scouts we serve have not. They are so busy living forward that they don’t have the time or inclination to look back very often.
Scouting is, in a way, a reconciliation of these two ways of seeing the world – as we look back and our Scouts live forward both are encouraged to see the world from the other’s viewpoint.
Experience is a valuable if unforgiving teacher. We know how our actions have either benefited or harmed us and those around us. We are anxious that our Scouts share and apply this understanding but we have to remember life must be lived forward.
Once we learn to look backward we must be vigilant that we don’t see life as a ‘problem to be solved’ rather than ‘a reality to be experienced’. Our Scouts should be able to experience the realities of life without having someone hovering over them trying to solve their problems or overload them with advice.