Putting Up with Self

There are times in life, of which we are ignorant, where we have to admit someone else had been kinder or more virtuous than we.  That has to be Bill, who when he was leaving as a gardener’s helper from the Sands Point estate of Clarence Buddington Kelland, recruited me to help the aging German gardener, Gus, and to take his (Bill’s) place.  It never occurred to me to view it that way.

The following year I had the opportunity to be a summer scoutmaster at Camp Wauwepex at almost twice the salary.  But do you think I thought of recruiting a buddy to help the aging Gus?  Think of the prestige!  Kelland was the former short story writer for The Saturday Evening Post, a great magazine in my early youth.  Nothing as considerate as that entered my mind.

Being a provisional scoutmaster, as they called the counselor job, was good experience for me, but I failed to match the lesson in consideration Bill had set for me.  Today, I remember Gus in my prayers, the only alternative still open to make up for my selfishness.

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