6 BE PREPARED

CODE OF HONOR

The Code of Honor contains 15 tenets that we strive to live by. It is intended to reflect some basic core values that all the men can rally behind, support and use as a benchmark for the ways of being we can expect from one another


BE PREPARED

The wood representing 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.

Pine

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 living 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.