Lessons from my Mom: The Strong Captain

I don’t remember what year it was, but I was in Berkeley Hills Elementary School. I was taking part in a school play (yes, I was a drama queen from an early age!)…

I came home from school one day crying and stressed because I screwed up my lines. I explained to my mom that I was having a hard time memorizing my lines and that I wanted to quit the production.

Then my mom told me about the captain of a boat that came into a storm.

The captain, she told me, had two choices— he could be a strong captain and face the storm, fight it and navigate his boat to safety. Or he could abandon his ship and swim to the safety of a nearby island.

What kind of captain do you want to be, my mom asked me? The kind that abandons during a crisis and takes the easy way out, or the good captain who navigates his ship and becomes a better, wiser captain I the process?

The Greek expression that goes along with her story is “Ο καλός καπετάνιος στη φουρτούνα φαίνεται.” (Roughly translates to: The good captain shows his true colors during a storm).

The painting is by a Cretan artist, Dimitris Gonalakis, called “Into the storm” and is appropriate not only because of his common heritage with my mom, but also because of its theme.

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