The Ellen Show, The Boy Scouts and Building Better Leaders

by Beth Pocalyko

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Every night when I put the kids to bed, the first thing I do is sit down and watch The Ellen Show!

Ellen can make a bad day feel better, or a great day even greater. She just makes me laugh at the simple everyday things that make us happy.  Like her segment "clumbsy thumbsy” where she shows us viewers texts gone bad due to auto correct.  Or when she shows clips of babies dancing, or street signs that  just don't belong.

She reminds us through laughter to be grateful for all that we have, without ever coming out and saying it.

If you don’t watch the show, I strongly suggest you add it to your list of favorites.  On this week’s show, Ellen’s opening monologue was not only funny, it was to the point and moving. I watched it three times, and again when I saw it online.

Ellen opened up about her feelings on the Boy Scouts’ lack of action with their ban on accepting gays into the Scouts. (They held a meeting to decide on the policy, and instead decided to wait another three months before addressing the ban). Ellen was funny, she wasn’t preachy, and didn’t talk negatively about the Boy Scouts in general. You can watch the video below:

During her monologue, Ellen talked about how the Boy Scouts promote leadership in our youth, which is a great thing. But she went on to point out, “the more that we teach people how to accept people for who they are, the more self-confident they’ll be and the better leaders they’ll become.”

Her words about self-confidence and leadership replayed in my head all day. It served as a continual reminder that I want to teach my boys to love themselves, and everyone else for who they are.

I blog all the time about how important sports are to our children in becoming confident adults. The Boy Scouts does the same. The Boy Scouts also provide boys with developing personal fitness. I remember my old neighbor’s son was a Boy Scout. She was telling me how the Boy Scouts teach moral guidelines, building a strong character in our boys, and self-esteem.

How they can teach moral guidelines, leadership, and self-esteem, but discriminate at the same time? I just don’t get it, and it makes me sad. Last fall, Ryan Anderson was on the Ellen show sharing the story of how he was denied the coveted Eagle Scout award because he was openly gay.

I can’t imagine if one of my boys worked so hard for something in school, sports, or band and couldn’t be recognized for all that hard work because of his sexual orientation. Or worse, couldn’t even participate in soccer, ballet, or in the band.  Can you imagine the message it sends to that young child when we stop judging based on the content of a person’s character?

I really don’t get passionate about “important issues.” It is usually sports, and if Selena and Justin are together again (kidding - well sort of).  I am not sure what I (or we) can do about the big issues. But I know what I can do in my own house. I can continue to watch Ellen, and I can continue to teach my boys her mantra - “Be kind to one another.”

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