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.
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.
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.