Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cork on the Ocean

I resolve to blog a little more often, now that I am at home looking for work. Today I thought I would record one of my frequent illustrations on life. The cork on the ocean.

Too many people go through life as victims of the winds of circumstance. Like a cork on the ocean, they bob up and down, happy or sad, based on whatever life throws at them. Down in the trough of the wave, they are sad. Raised to the peak, they are happy. Then sad again. When asked how they got where they are, they can't tell you. Life is something that happened to them. These people could write fantastic autobiographies of all the things that have happened to them.

Compare the movement of the cork to a small boat. I sailed as a teenager, and I vividly remember how a light boat responds with the lowering of the keel. Instead of floating wherever the winds pushes it, the keel gives the boat force and direction. Combined with the sail and the rudder, the sailor now has control. If the wind pushes harder, the boat surges forward. If it pushes in the direction you want to go, you may tack in to the wind, back and forth, and slowly make headway. Combine your little boat with intent, and you may go wherever you want to go on the high seas. You respond to the winds and storms that come our way. People with intent and purpose treat life as an opportunity.
We all have storms. Circumstances change. The world economy rises and falls in big waves. The difference between success and victimhood may be as simple as the choices we make in how we respond. At the very least, paying attention to the winds and waves, and responding in kind, will push is in the way we want to go.
Take, care, however, not to blame all victims as corks. Even the best built boats can be overwhelmed.
I borrow the picture from Euphoria sailing.