A modern fable tells the story of a busy father, trying to get work done while also being responsible for his young son.  Being bored, the boy was pestering his father.  In an attempt to occupy his son, the man tore out a magazine page that had a map of the world.  He tore this into many pieces and scattered them on the living room floor.  He said to his son: “You like puzzles. Put this puzzle together and I’ll give you ten bucks.” 

The father then retreated to his study, confident that he would have at least 30 minutes of uninteruppted time to work.  After all, his son had never even seen a map of the world before.  The man had barely sat down when the son appeared holding the map taped together and perfectly assembled.  The man handed over the ten dollars and asked his son “How were you able to put the map together so quickly?’  The boy replied, “I had no idea what the map of the world looked like.  But I noticed that on the other side of the page, there was a picture of a man.  So I turned the pieces over and put the man together.   Once I had the man right, the world was right!”

This moral holds true for all of us.  Once we have ourselves (the man or woman) right, the world will be right, too.  Matthew Kelly writes: “Every time you become a-better-version-of-yourself, the consequences of your transformation echo throughout your family, friends, ...” school, troop or crew, lodge, neighborhood, community, nation and beyond -- even to people and places in the future.

If you get the man or woman right, you get the world right.  How much time do we spend worrying about or trying to change things over which we have no control or influence?  Instead, focus on those things that have the most impact - your thoughts, your words, your actions.  These are the things at the center of your circle of influence.  When we move away from that center -- perhaps because we worry about what others think or say or do -- the less influence we have.  Focus on what you can affect to have the greatest effect.  It starts with each one of us. 

Dan Wagner - Lodge Adviser