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Be the Captain of Your Own Ship!

Friday, 20 January, 2012 - 3:49 pm

I’m sure you heard about what happened to the Costa Concordia last week. It ran aground on the shore of Italy and partially sank, forcing over 4000 crew and passengers to evacuate. At least 11 people died and many were wounded in the incident.

Notwithstanding the terrible accident itself, the news has mostly been dominated by the detail that the captain had abandoned ship. On a regular day the captain’s job may arguably be less important than say the engineer in the boiler room. The captain’s real job starts when there is an emergency. His job is to ensure the safety of the crew and passengers. Instead of leading the evacuation, the captain of the Costa Concordia left the boat and refused to return even after being ordered to by the coast guard.

In many ways, we are all like a ship navigating our way through the sometimes rough waters of life. Our captain is the soul within each of us, a portion of G-d. On a regular day we may not hear from our “captain”, we may be able to get by without him. It’s when we are faced with a challenge, that we really need to be able to draw strength from our soul.

But will our soul rise to the occasion or will it “abandon ship”? For that we need to train. We need to train our soul by regularly doing Mitzvot and studying Torah. By training ourselves to lead our lives by a higher standard - not just with a focus on what’s in it for me, but with a focus on  what am I needed for. Then, when we are faced with an “emergency” we will be equipped to handle it and will think about what we are needed for rather than only how can we save our own skin.

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