Safe Harbors and the Open Sea

March 29, 2011
Places that appear safe are not always so.

FEATURE: Quotations Worth Considering

Sails on a private boat seen from belowI am writing this on March 20, two days before I leave for a conference in Washington, DC. However, as you will know if you’ve been reading recent posts, I have scheduled several of them to be posted when I am gone so that, if you come here often, you will find something new.

Today I had only one more post to write when I wanted to print out the handouts for workshops I will attend. It seems that in order to save paper, handouts aren’t being handed out. However, participants can download the notes for the workshops they are attending and bring them along. I started doing this today and was interested in what leaders of other workshops were providing. That’s when I looked at a PDF of a writer’s workshop and came across a quotation that I want to share.

In Quotations Worth Considering I talk about quotations, affirmations, aphorisms, and scripture verses from of all religions that can make a real impact in our lives if we take time to really think about them. The one I share today has, I believe, great wisdom for both the adventurous and the timid.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

When I first read this — on a list of quotations meant to encourage writers’ creativity and courage — I immediately had images of ships in a Japanese harbor being pushed onto land by a giant tsunami. That harbor was not at all safe for those sailors. The boats that were safe were those that were out at sea.

Of course, I realize that in violent storms a ship would rather be in a harbor, but not all harbors are safe all the time. Not all seas are dangerous. If you meet a tsunami out in the open sea, you can hardly tell it at all.

What this quotation says to me is that safety is a relative thing. Unless we venture out beyond our boundaries, we aren’t going to get very far. What are you willing to risk? What have you gained in the past by taking risks?

When I get on the plane in two days, I will take the risk that it will crash. But then again, every time I get in a car I take a risk that is greater than riding in a plane.

Risk is relative and we each need to decide what level of safety we will give up for the potential of reaching our goals and even going beyond them.

Since this blog is about enriching your life and your relationships, I suggest you consider what might happen to your relationships if you decided to sail out beyond the boundaries you generally keep to make you feel secure and untie to bowline as you move into the unknown.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
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