Sunday’s Wisdom #20: Chart Your Own Course

“Now you listen to me, James Hawkins. You got the makings of greatness in you! But you gotta take the helm and chart your own course! Stick to it! No matter the squalls! And when the time comes you get the chance to really test the cut of your sails and show what you’re made of… well, I hope I’m there, catching some of the light coming off you that day.”
-Long John Silver
Treasure Planet

While this may come from the “villain” of the story, the hero learns a few things from him. These words come at a time when Jim believes himself responsible for the awful fate of a good man, and his fledgling confidence is shattered. In his agony, he gets some much-needed affirmation for his very worth, some validation. Silver tells him what he sees in Jim, and Jim begins to learn what it means to truly make his own destiny, with his own hands.

There is a difference between living an easy life, in going in one easy direction, floating from one place to another without a care in the world… and in actually “charting your own course.” It’s a hard and heavy path, and all sorts of things go wrong all the time. It begins with knowing what you, yourself, are worth, and daring to dream that you can be something more than you are. It’s making a choice, and putting in the effort to move forward. It’s falling and getting back up. Great men do not sit idle in their flaws and failures, their losses, but rise to overcome.

And when destiny calls, perhaps we will be ready to meet it, and shine like the stars.

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