An Excerpt from: E.E. Reynolds, B-P: The Story of His Life, London, Oxford University
THE following messages were found amongst B.-P.'s papers after his death.
TO BOY SCOUTS:
If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was
always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for
him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me,
and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and
I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.
Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over. I have had a
most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too. I believe that God
put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn't come from being
rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step
towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you
can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the
world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look
on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.
But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and
leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you
can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your
best. "Be Prepared" in this way, to live happy and to die happy-stick to your
Scout promise always-even after you have ceased to be a boy-and God help you to do it.
Your Friend, BADEN-POWELL.
Copyright (c) Lewis P. Orans, 1997