A monk and a soap maker were walking along and the soap maker questioned the Monk by asking, “What good is religion? There’s been religion for a long time, but people are still bad to each other”

The Monk was silent until they say a boy who was dirty from playing in the street. The Monk asked the soap maker, “What good is soap? We’ve had soap for many, many years and people still get dirty”

The soap maker protested the comparison and insisted that the soap had to be used in order to keep people clean. “Exactly my point”, said the Monk. “Religion”, he said, “has to be applied in order to do anybody any good.”


Won Lee was a stone cutter who lived in ancient China. He cut large stones and he cut small stones. He made them into ornaments for gardens. Some he cut to build houses. He was proud of his work, but sometimes he would think, “If only I had more money” or “If only I had less work.”

One day, Won Lee was walking home from work. The sun was very hot and he was tired, so he sat down at the side of the road. He felt the heat of the sun and thought, “It’s the sun that gives us the daylight, the warmth to grow our crops. Surely the sun must be the most powerful of all things.”

Won Lee said quietly to himself, “God, if only I could be the sun. I would love to feel what it is like to be the most powerful, the greatest of all things.”

God answered Won Lee. “You may become the sun.” He said. And Won Lee became the sun. He felt wonderful; so strong and powerful. He shone down on the world far below.

After a few days, a puffy white cloud appeared in the sky. It drifted about and, when it came near Won Lee, it blotted out his rays and cast a shadow on the world. Won Lee was sad. Surely this cloud was more powerful than he ? “If only I were the cloud. That would make me the greatest of all things,” he said.

God heard, and again He answered: “Won Lee, you may become the cloud.” So Won Lee floated about the sky feeling very grand.

One day, Won Lee saw a great black cloud coming his way. Soon it surrounded him, and he saw the black cloud dripping droplets of water. The drops fell on the earth and made a mighty river.

Won Lee thought that this black cloud must be very powerful to swallow up a cloud and turn itself into a river, so he said, “If only I were the river. How mighty I would be. Then I would be truly happy.”

Again God heard and answered: “Okay. You may be the river.”

So Won Lee flowed along, feeling the mighty rush of water. Then he came to a bend in the river. There was a great boulder jutting out into the river. The great boulder held the river, swirling it back on itself.

Won Lee thought, “The rock ! The rock ! At last I have found the mightiest of all things. If this rock can hold back the raging river, then it is the greatest. If only I were this great big rock, I would be happy.”

So God made Won Lee into the boulder and he stood there, holding back the water and feeling very great and happy. Then, one day, along came a man who cut a large piece off the boulder. Won Lee was sad. No longer was he the greatest if this man could come along and cut him up.

“If only I could be the man who cut up the stone, I would surely be the greatest,” Won Lee thought.

And God said to Won Lee: “But you are the Stone Cutter!”

Moral of the Stories

  1. Some things in life need to be applied in order to do you any good.  Any good at all.
  2. At times we are blind to the opportunities that are placed right before our very eyes.

Scouting is one of those things and when we are in school tends to be one of those times.  Scouting is not something that is watched, and does nobody any good from “just passing through it”.  The richness and depth of the values and experiences provided by Scouting can only be built up over a period of concerted effort.

Each of us has a different role to play in the group, and these efforts would have to take reference from these roles.  With this, I will close with some words of advice for each of you in the scout group.

Sec 1s – Every boy has a role to play in the patrol.  Just because you are Sec 1 does not make your contributions any less valuable.  What you do now provide you with the knowledge, and more importantly, confidence to grow into senior scouts.

Sec 2s – You form the middle management of the patrol, by taking on the functional roles of treasurer, quartermaster and secretary.  These are important roles within the patrol, without which money gets lost, and equipment deteriorates.  People get lost and hurt because of these things.

Sec 3s – You are the leaders, whether or not you are serving as a PL/APL.  Apply yourselves to these leadership opportunities, and you will reap the fruit.  Put some thought and effort in guiding your juniors, and your patrol will go places.  Take initiative, seize opportunities to steer your patrol in the right direction.

Ventures – This is both a time of experimentation through newly gained autonomy, and one of learning greater responsibility for one’s actions and impact on others around you.  Consider your pursuits carefully, find your passion.  Don’t be a rudderless ship.

Rovers – Remember the Rover Motto – Fellowship of the Open Air and Service.  Making the step to adulthood is no mean feat.  May the strength of the bonds formed here bear you in good stead, and may the experiences garnered through servant leadership here equip you with the confidence to show the world what you are worth.  We need more people like you in our group, and in the world.