I’ve listened to Roy H. Williams talk about the “4 people you meet on the sea of life” a handful of times. I can’t put it any more concisely than he, so this is copied from the Monday Morning Memo:
“Those who drift just go with the flow. The wind and the waves control their speed and direction. The drifter quietly floats along and says, ‘Whatever.’”
“Those who surf are always riding a wave, the next big thing. They stay excited until the wave fades away, then they scan the horizon for something new. Surfers don’t usually get anywhere, but they make a lot of noise and put on a good show.”
“Those who drown seem to stay in the center of a storm. It doesn’t matter how often you rescue them, they’ll soon be in another crisis, crying, ‘Help me, save me, it’s been the worst week of my life. I don’t know what I’m going to do.’”
“Those who sail are navigating toward a fixed point. They counteract the wind and waves by adjusting the rudder and shifting the sails to stay on course. But without an immovable, fixed point in your life, there can be no sailing. There’s nothing for you but drift, surf or drown.”
No judgement now, we’ve all been all of these people. Obviously sailing is the goal, but sometimes we forget our “fixed point” and we do what we do until we are reminded.
The last time I heard Roy talk about this he also said something about “the nature of water.” I don’t know if it was a book title or what because I thought I knew where he was going with it, but he didn’t. So this is just where my brain went with it.
Here we are drifting / drowning / surfing / sailing on the waters of life. AND we are made of water. The nature of water is the very nature of us. So that means that we’re on the waters of life, and we also ARE the waters of life.
Baby, we’re all riding each other’s waves. We’re all doing the best we can on our, and each other’s waters. I compliment a random person’s shoes… I maybe calmed the sea for them. I’m in a stupid rush… I made a wave and I’m drowning in it, so I drive nutty and cut off someone. I just made a choppy sea for that person to surf or sail.
What’s really the point Christina? The point is, this is a brilliant metaphor for finding our way, for remembering how to find our way, and being compassionate and mindful of others at the same time. By the very nature of water, we are affecting each other with everything we do. I think it’s pretty cool.