“Saint Bernard” is a patient and friend. He is also a Vietnam Vet, retiree, handyman, Scout Master, father and grandfather. The man has been around and has both the stories and scars to prove it.
This past weekend, he chaperoned his Boy Scout troop to a pro hockey game. The troop was excited to see the game, but they were also working the event. As the National Anthem was played, they were tasked with walking the American flag out onto the ice. The boys were both honored and excited to fulfill this mission. Their uniforms pressed, their gazes were unflinching as they hoisted Old Glory up for all to see. The scouts proudly took their seats, satisfied with their good deed.
The Ugly Americans…
Seated behind Saint Bernard and his scouts were a group of guys who had apparently enjoyed quite a bit to drink and the game wasn’t going their way. The players weren’t scoring. The refs were making all the wrong calls. The men yelled and screamed, shouting expletives and insults at the players they could never be, despite the scout troop sitting directly in front of them. They were like spectators in Rome’s coliseum. Their favorite gladiator was like an avatar, an action figure that they praised above all – at least while he was healthy and winning.
F YOU, ref!!! Defense – YOU SUCK!
Saint Bernard disapprovingly looks back, on several occasions. He is angry, disappointed and uncomfortable, to have to speak up to these grown men but someone had to. The Ugly Americans roll their eyes, whisper a bit and snicker…until the Scout Master stands up.
Saint Bernard says, “Hey, guys…can you knock it off with the swearing, the troop is here trying to enjoy the game.”
Spectator: “YES, SIR…SORRY SIR!” This was a sarcastic bellow, as if the man was embarrassed for being called out and is lashing out in desperation, to save face. Past the point of no return now, he must slight a scout master.
On several occasions more up to the intermission, the rowdy group acted up to the point where Saint Bernard, or others, had to admonish or shame them. It took security being called to put a stop to it. It should never have come to that.
Caretakers of Integrity…
As the loudmouth was escorted out of the stands, one of his friends approached the scouts, “I’m sorry, I’d like to apologize for my friend, haha.” While this was a nice gesture, Saint Bernard was having none of it. He said,”It’s unfortunate that you couldn’t have been a better friend, did the right thing and reigned him in while he was acting up. We could have used your help, THEN!”
The moral of the story: there are still those who possess true integrity, scattered among the masses who struggle to speak and act for what is right. These people are like shepherds among vast flocks of sheep. These individuals do the right thing, even when no one is watching. They are far from perfect, but they follow a code uncompromisingly. Saint Bernard is one of these individuals.
He’s a man of experiences and lessons learned. Forty years ago, he might have been that loudmouth in the stands, offending others. But he learned from those mistakes and no doubt, he had teachers, people who stood up and paid integrity forward, keeping him honest. What an awesome gift to pass on to future generations.
We must all strive to be like Saint Michael Bernard,”…to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean.”