I don't have any grasp on my future, and I only have pictures in my head to describe what I will do with my life. How will I be, where will I go, what will I do? I wish I knew, and yet, I like surprises. If the Eagle Scout committee wants to know of my ambitions and life purposes, I will try to put some into words.
I will never join the army or the police force and I never plan to own a gun. In these regards I will be different from many Eagle Scouts, since I am not a staunch southern conservative Republican like most of the boys in my troop, and even in all of scouting. I would like to be a writer, actually. I would like to have a desk overlooking Central Park, an over-sized pair of glasses, and a tobacco pipe. Maybe I will write for an influential newspaper or magazine; perhaps it will even be my own influential newspaper or magazine. But mostly I would like to write what comes to my mind without trying to fill it full of outside fluff. I would write poems, or articles echoing my opinion across the halls of every article-reading household in America, or even the world. Maybe I would write short stories.
To write, first I must be inspired. This is the reason for a desk overlooking Central Park. But an office could never inspire me, no matter how cozy it may be. For inspiration I will travel. I will travel outside my office into Central Park, and I will sit underneath the shade trees and watch the people and be inspired. I will travel onto 5th Avenue, and I will feel the cars grind past and watch the headlights light up the faces of the city of people, and I will be inspired.
I won't stay in New York City for long, though, for inspiration. I will buy an old car, small enough for me and one other person whom I won't have met yet, and I will drive west. I will not drive south, because I have already been south. I have lived in the south my whole life, and I have seen enough of it. There are too many places on the earth to stay in one place for long, and seventeen years is quite enough. So I will drive west. I will drive to the Pacific shore by way of Yellowstone, then drive down through the Grand Canyon and through Las Vegas and to Boston again. This will be my road trip, and maybe I will meet the other person on the road trip, and she will go the rest of the way with me. I said I would buy a car, but I would really rather buy a motorcycle. But if I bought a motorcycle, where would I spend the nights? I'll decide when the nights come.
A USA road trip will inspire me to write, but America is only one country. Soon I will go across the Atlantic, but by boat and not by plane. I've already been across the Atlantic by plane, and boats require more adventure. It will be a sea-journey to Iceland, or Ireland, or Sweden, then a train tour of Europe, and down into Africa, and across to South Asia. One thing is for certain, I will have a respectable beard.
So I will write and travel, and write about my travels, and write about the people I meet and the places I see, but not like anyone has ever written before, and not like anyone has ever traveled before. I will be a person no one has ever been before, that is also for certain. But what if writing can't satisfy my passions? Maybe I will dabble in politics. Maybe I will volunteer at an orphanage in India. I do love little kids. Hopefully there will be time for me to make a family, because I would be happy with kids of my own. But would I still be able to travel with kids? Maybe I would tire of the nomadic life and settle down, but where? There are so many fascinating places, America can only offer a few.
If you couldn't already tell from this statement of ambitions and life purposes, I am not the ideal patriot. I am more of an international man who considers unfailing allegiance to one country to be petty. I believe in an unfailing allegiance to something higher than the state, and have a hard time pledging my life for something so corrupt as a government. An ideal I would die for, but not for a government. This is what scouting is all about, duty to God and to country. God is first, and if we truly pledge our allegiance first to God, then we will find that he sometimes calls us outside of our comfortable country. My duty will always be to God no matter what country I live in. Scouting has instilled within me a practical way of carrying out some of my duty to God; be trustworthy, be loyal, be helpful, be friendly, be courteous, be kind, be obedient, be cheerful, be thrifty, be brave, be clean, and be reverent. I am not repeating ideas that I have been force-fed, I have come to this conclusion on my own. The ideas in the scout law will help guide my actions no matter where I end up.