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When You Grow Up

Then, when you grow up, you will become a voter and have a share in governing your country.

And you will, many of you, be inclined to belong automatically to the political party your father or friends belong to. I should not, if I were you. I should hear what each party has to say. If you listen to one party you will certainly agree that that is the only right one, the rest must all be wrong. But if you go and listen to another you may find that after all that one is quite right, and the first one wrong.

The thing is to listen to them all, and don't be persuaded by any particular one. And then be a man, make up your mind and decide for yourself which you think is best for the whole country-not for some little local question-and vote for that one so long as it works the right way, namely, for the good of the country.

Many people get led away by some new politician with some new extreme idea. Never believe in one man's idea till it has been well considered from all points of view. Extreme ideas are seldom much good; if you look them up in history you will see almost always that they have been tried somewhere and have failed.

Your forefathers worked hard, fought hard, and died hard, to make your country for you. Don't let them look down from heaven and see you loafing about with your hands in your pockets, doing nothing to keep it up.

Play up! Each man in his place, and play the game!


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: A Friend to All the World

Back in The Past:

to the previous page: Citizenship

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