Monday Musing: Facing Challenges

This week’s Guide Law, number three, is:

A Guide faces challenges and learns from her experiences.

I love this one, although I think the older version has some fine qualities which are lacking in the current wording.

Facing challenges

A Guide faces challenges.  This, for me, is one of the key points of the entire Guiding movement.  A safe environment to face challenges and overcome fears.

If a Guide is faced with a challenge, she should face it, and do her best to overcome it.  She shouldn’t hide from it, or hope it will go away.

“I laugh in the face of danger.  Then I hide until it goes away.” ~ Xander Harris, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It doesn’t matter what the challenge is, only that it is a challenge for that person.  What is a challenge for me (potholing, for example – I’m a little claustrophobic) might not bother you.  What is a challenge for a Brownie (tying her shoe laces, or abseiling) is not a challenge for me.

Is this a challenge?
Is this a challenge?

I would also suggest that it’s important that the challenge isn’t too hard.  A challenge should be challenging, but it shouldn’t be impossible.  I would never challenge a Rainbow to organise a sleepover.  That’s not a challenge, it’s just cruel.

Learning from experiences

The other half of the Law is equally important.  A Guide who faces a challenge but doesn’t learn anything from the experience will stagnate.  She will find the same things challenging for the rest of her life.

I used to find organising a Brownie meeting a challenge.  Sometimes, I still do.  But most weeks I look forward to it.  It’s relaxing, and fun, and that’s because I faced the challenge, overcame my fear, and practiced a lot.  I learned what worked and what didn’t.  I learned to delegate and to accept help.  I learned that sometimes it doesn’t go according to plan, and that’s ok.

One of the things I love about the Brownie age range is how much they change in the three years I have them.  They grow from small, timid girls who find everything a challenge to confident young ladies.  I need to really stretch myself to keep up with what they find challenging.

Attitude is key

Earlier, I said I like the older version of this Law.  Why is that?

The older version, which was active from the late sixties, goes like this:

A Guide has courage and is cheerful in all difficulties.

A Guide is cheerful.  Not only does she face those challenges and learn her lessons, but she does it with a smile on her face.  She doesn’t gripe or moan.  She just gets on with it.

If only more of the world was like that.


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