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Shipwrights from Francisco de Orellana's exped...

Shipwrights from Francisco de Orellana’s expedition building a small brigantine, the San Pedro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of watching this television show about Bath and Camden, Maine.  

Dave Garrison, of maritimeme.org, provided the above link to the entire video on YouTube.  Length:  00:28:22.  Thanks so much, Dave!

The environs are truly gorgeous.  Building a replica of Maine’s First Ship appears to involve an entire town.  The seafood looks wonderful.  The Maine Maritime Museum looks intriguing!  Lighthouses are everywhere!

My interest in nautical subjects must be related to my Friesian ancestry.  I am an excellent swimmer, former lifeguard and Red Cross swimming instructor for children with cerebral palsy.  In addition, I worked at a maritime law firm in New York for two years.  Especially compared to corporate law, it was quite interesting.

A discovery

Last Sunday, a chance discovery started me thinking about how to write this blog post.  In choosing music for the service, there seemed to be less to go on than usual.  How to proceed?  I decided to look for a prelude and postlude to coordinate with the hymns.

The postlude I found was “He Who Would Valiant Be” by John Boda, based on a hymn with the same text.  (There is more than one musical setting.)  In order to ensure that there was a connection with my line of thinking concerning the service, I had to search for the hymn, which was unfamiliar to me.

Two versions are included in the “Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal,” 1958.

Two friends tell me they grew up singing the second version.

The conclusion I reached from the text is this:  no matter where you are in life, you did not arrive there solely under your own power.  Even if you think you had  little help, the obstacles standing in your way provided challenges to overcome.  You have never existed in a vacuum.

So why would you promote your own agenda in isolation?

Two essays in The New York Times caught my attention.  They focus on similar themes.  Both are by Frank Bruni:

How do these themes relate to each other?

My train of thought here is centered around the antithesis of egotism.  This does not mean denying one’s own talent or self-worth.  But if egotism is all there is, collaboration is impossible.

Can one be very self-confident and have humility?  I would cite two examples that say “yes.”

  • Rafael Nadal certainly knows how talented he is.  If he constantly denied that, how many titles would he win?
  • The ship building project in Bath provides a wonderful opportunity to observe collaboration on display.
    • The master shipbuilder who is leading the project is a volunteer.
    • When a huge beam needed to be placed, taking up the length of the ship, a large number of men worked together, making sure it was straight.  When they had finished, each pair of men shook hands, reaching over the beam.
    • The project features a training program, starting with children as young as middle school.  12-year-olds were shown working on the ship, completely focused on their tasks and doing exemplary work.

We have all encountered situations where collaboration would have been helpful.  From time to time, someone’s ego will get in the way, making the surrounding atmosphere uncomfortable for everyone involved.

My plan is to remain aware of how my own ego might interfere when working with others.  This has been an ongoing focus of mine for over a year.  I’m happy to say I’m improving!

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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