If you have even
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 goodbye.
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.
Baden-Powell of Gilwell