I will do my best.

Like many others, I have been at a loss for words these past few days. Anything less than an incoherent scream of rage and grief felt like cheap platitudes.

But while I was going through my morning rituals today, I finally thought of something.

I have been a Girl Scout (or a Girl Guide, for those outside the US) for nearly my entire life. I believe strongly in the mission of the Girl Scouts of America, and in teaching girls of all kinds the skills to help them be brave, resilient, kind, ass-kicking feminists. I learned first aid skills (which has helped me be a first responder at two motorcycle accidents) and marched in anti-war protests. I learned to sew my own clothes, to start fires, to tie knots. I credit the guidance and leadership I received with helping me become the person I am today.

Below is the text of the Girl Scout Law, the first oath I took in service to my community and one I still hold dear. I’m a little less keen on the “respect authority” part than I used to be, but it’s a reminder of who built me up, and that I can always do better.

I will do my best to be:
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,

and to:
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

I will do my best.

In Joyful Service,