By Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, University of the Philippines Cebu College
Service—wholehearted selfless service—is one of the foundational pillars of the Scouting movement. Altruistic loving-service is the crux of Scouting, from the beginning of its inception as a service oriented society, up until now. As per Scout vow, service is considered as a sacred duty. However, as I personally observe and keenly reflect the Scout’s zest for service during times of calamities and likewise their creative initiatives for service during ordinary times of peace, I realize that more than duty, it is compassion that motivates the Scouts towards service. Loving-service prods the Scout to serve his community, and loving-kindness inspires him to do something to alleviate the sufferings of humankind. Duty is an essential pillar of a Scout’s understanding of service; but duty if taken solely as the motivating force of service, can become cold, aloof, rigid, and distant. It is selfless love manifesting itself in compassionate and altruistic service that becomes the Scout’s virile prodder in undertaking heroic acts even to the point of personal sacrifice and eventual martyrdom.