As I have been dwelling on the topic of ‘questions’ over the last few weeks, wondering what to write, I’ve remembered a song I learnt as a young Guide (aged about 11) which we knew as ‘Canadian Taps’ and sang to the tune ‘Tannenbaum’:
Softly at the close of day
As our campfire dies away
Silently each Guide must ask
Have I done my daily task?
Have I kept my honour bright?
Can I guiltless sleep tonight?
Have I done and have I dared
everything to be prepared?
I have a distinct memory of my grandmother banning the singing of this, but she had heard the tune (which is perhaps best known as the tune of the Red Flag) not the words. My sister and I protested strongly that what we were singing was something quite different to what she thought. However, it is little used in Guide circles for just that reason.
I still find the idea of reviewing the day and asking myself how well I have done is appealing. Though I have to remember that it should be without berating myself. I need to forgive myself and then resolve to do better tomorrow. And I have to remember to ask the question – the end of the day is not my best time!
Much more recently (a year or so ago), I pinned up, where I saw it every morning:
‘what am I going to do today to make the world a better place?’
That is a big question, though small answers are allowed, especially since it is a one day at a time sort of question.
What questions am I working with now?
How can I reduce my carbon footprint?
What is stopping me taking action to reduce my carbon footprint?
How can I help myself and others to overcome these barriers (many of them emotional, some of them practical) so as to become ‘a low carbon, sustainable community?
What new activities should I undertake? (If any.)
What activities should I lay down?
What should I be prepared for?
Of all my outstanding tasks, which should I do first?
How can I clear some of the clutter from my life? (Both physically and spiritually.)
What did it feel like to fall in love for the first time?
Am I doing my best to live by my guide promise and the five mindfulness trainings?
Am I taking heed of the promptings of love and truth in my heart?
Am I trusting them as the leadings of God?
What does Love require?