Grandfather warned; “we should be most aware in places where we are the most familiar, comfortable, and relaxed.” In other words we should be most aware at home and in our home territory. He warned of “the rut”, calling it a coffin, a killer, and a demon. As one looks closely at “the rut” and all the negative things that it embraces we all can easily and clearly understand why Grandfather called it “The Demon Rut”. In the Way of the Scout I warned that on ones’ own home turf we become the most vulnerable because it is at home that we become the most unaware. The Scouts knew this and took the utmost precautions to insure that everyone was at the highest possible level of awareness when at home camp. Basically they taught themselves to remain forever “tourists”.
You’ve all heard the expression; “you can always spot a tourist in town”, and that is because a tourist is doing something different than the locals. A tourist is looking around, taking it all in, and interested in everything and everyone. But given a day or so in a new town the tourist soon becomes the local; walking with his head bent at a 45 degree angle to the ground, looking at the same things the same way they always have, and missing all else. As I tell you during the Standard Class that the hardest time to hide on you is during the first few hours of the class because that is when you are most aware. After that and once in “the rut” you pass us right by as we hide in the open, never seeing us.
Always remain a tourist. Force yourself to look at the familiar in a new way, from a different angle, and also force yourself to look at things you don’t normally pay attention to. Play the game where you imagine that someone is watching you, stalking you, or hunting you. In many cases this is not a game but part of the reality taking place all around you. Predators often watch prey for long periods, watching movement, action and reaction, what the prey sees and what it misses, then plans the attack based on that observation. As for Rick and I we never had to force ourselves to play that game because the threat in our lives were very real. We, Grandfather included, were always hiding on each other, setting traps for each other, or waiting in the forest canopy to drop a bag of grade A glop on the head of the unsuspecting.
As with what I said of Awareness and Observation, we no longer have the luxury of not being a tourist. To say we are in troubled times is and understatement. We are facing EXTREMES on all levels of our existence and extreme threats needs to be counterbalanced by extreme awareness and part of that extreme awareness is to forever remain the tourist. More extremes are coming and are close at hand, especially in the summers heat. Hot weather, hot tempers, hot fires, and so much more.
On tuesday I will finally be releasing the schedule for the fall and winter months. I just had to make sure my brother Jim would be available for one of the programs along with a few other visiting instructors that have to get back to me this weekend.
In Medicine, Tom