06 April 2007

A tale of two ships; choose wisely...

A friend has offered you a chance to journey aboard a ship. You have two choices.

So the next day, you head to the end of the pier where your ships await you. On your right is an elegant cruise ship. The captain, a clean cut middle aged healthy man, extends his hand to greet you. Beside him is his first mate, a younger version of the handsome captain. On his other side is a beautiful smiling woman. The captain speaks - and he sounds remarkably like the guy who does movie trailers. You can't help but listen,

"Welcome my friend. You can't get any nicer than the ship behind me. We will give you climate control rooms, all you can eat buffets made by gourmet cooks, and entertainment that rivals any show stopper in New York or Hollywood. You can lay out by the heated pool and sip exotic drinks till your hearts content. This, is all about you. We are here to serve and pamper you as if you were a king. You will feel most important, most glamorous, we'll give you a journey you will cherish forever. And well even give you a discount if you bring some friends."

Well it sounds good, but before you listen to the captain of the other ship, he continues...

"Also, we will port in exotic stops around the globe. You will be given tours within the safety of our luxury buses and trained tour guides. The ship doesn't even rock in the water so sea sickness is no problem either. You will always know where we are going because the deck has the latest GPS system in the world. I guarantee pampering, fun, excitement, and it's all completely safe."

He seemed satisfied, finally lets go of your hand, and smiles broadly. 'Sounds great' you think, but to be fair you better listen to the other captain.

Before you notice him, you notice the ship. It's an ancient sailing vessel. The captain approaches you, smiles and extends his hand. His crew is behind him. They are friendly, but a rag tag group to be sure. They remind you of a "Gilligand's Island" type crew. Eclectic, rough, but well meaning and kind. It crosses your mind that the other crew kind of reminds you of the "Love Boat". This captain speaks,

"Welcome. I'll be upfront. We can't offer you much like they can." He points to the other captain and crew, "We have a bunk, but there's no air conditioning. We've stored up a good amount of food, but if we run out before we get to a port, we need to eat what we catch. We should have plenty, but I can't guarantee it. We can't really entertain you...in fact we need you as a member of our crew. That means work. You'll need to prepare meals , swab the deck, hoist the sails... you know... all that sailing stuff. We'll train you, so you don't have to worry about jumping in too soon, but understand this is not a luxury cruise. Hell, we don't even know where we're going exactly. We don't have GPS, we go by way of the sun or the North Star. Which means we'll go a direction... across the ocean. We could end up in Miami or New York, but we're not really sure.

"And there's another issue. We don't have engines. We rely on wind. If there's no wind, we stop and we wait. If there's a storm, you'll feel it. In fact, you'll be out in it, doing your best, with the rest of us to keep our ship afloat. I've never lost a crew member, but there's always first time. It may be you.

"But I can tell you that you will experience a bonding with the crew that you will never experience otherwise. They will be your brothers and sisters for life...even closer. You will visit places that are unknown even to us. Our destination is not ports with tour buses, but unknown, uncharted, dangerous islands, traveling through dangerous waters, and encountering possibly dangerous people. And I can promise you this, you will be scared, you will want to go home at times, but you will never ever feel more alive..."

"So, I encourage you to choose the cruise ship if you don't have a heart for this. Most people won't want this. But some do. And those who make the tougher choice, will never ever be the same. In fact, you might change history..."

What ship do you choose?


Makeesha said...

Fantastic!! I've already chosen my ship - - sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't jump ship and take my chances swimming in the shark infested waters to join up with a cruise ship but I've already deserted their crew and they probably wouldn't take kindly to the dreads, pirate talk and fish smell I've acquired over the past several years.

grace said...

What a wonderful allegory!

This is an idea that I really struggle with. It seems like most of the people I know really want the cruise ship. In fact, even those who are spiritually seeking seem to want something more like the cruise ship.

I guess the only answer is to commit ourselves to the dinghy and discover along the journey who our dinghy mates will be.

paul said...

cruise ship, all the way baby :).

Otherwise i'd have to get deep into how there for me is only one boat at the end of the pier :)

Danimal said...

Which ship would let me pee of the side... I have this thing where i like to pee off of stuff... So whatever ship would let me do that. Or if there is a helper monkey on one of them... So those would be my two questions: Peeing and monkies.... Come to think of it, i am not sure either want me on the boat now. (tear down the left side of my face)

Jamie said...

Oh this is a tough one. How bad of a year have I had? Ok, I've made my choice......

Michael said...

I think I would have to base my decision of one thing, Which ship has a naked deck....?

Yo Ho Yo Ho a naked life for ME!! :)

Katie said...

Awesome post! I love the analogy! I have definitely made my choice... and it's not based on having a naked deck-- Michael's alone on that one :-)

Makeesha said...

oh poor michael, naked and alone on a poopdeck :(

David said...

I just commented about dancing on the poop deck but I put it under the newer post.
For a good laugh and a groan..go there.
Or...maybe just a groan.