Some of us are born on land, where it’s safe and opportunity is always within reach—like the fruit of a thriving apple tree—but some of us are born at sea, where safety is dependent on our environment, and opportunity only arises through our neverending effort to reach land.
I was born at sea. A storm stirred on the horizon but the waters remained calm for a time. As a child, I couldn’t know the struggles I would face; the choppy waters in my future weren’t yet evident. But already it was obvious to me that safety and opportunity were a luxury that wasn’t granted to those of us unlucky enough to be born so far from land.
When you’re a child of the sea you have little control of your voyage. Often, you drift aimlessly on a rudderless ship. Or if you were born most unlucky, you drift the open waters of life on a mere raft and the unforgiving currents decide your destiny. But over time you may come across another boat on the open sea. If fortune smiles upon you, you may abandon your vessel for that improved one, and your journey will become a little smoother.
Slowly, you will find direction in your life. Through hard work and strength of mind, you will navigate the treacherous sea and one day reach land where you can start a new life, a better life.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve been able to traverse the wild sea; I’ve made it safely through devastating storms, impossibly massive waves, and have finally reached the safety of land where opportunity calls my name. The same land some are born upon, never to the know the trials of life at sea. But those born on land don’t know the meaning of giving real effort. They don’t know how to survive when they suddenly find themselves thrown into the drink. They’ve never before had to fight to keep their heads above water, to keep from drowning through willpower alone.
Life on land makes us weak, complacent. Without struggle, we never learn how strong we truly are. So for this, I’m forever thankful to have been born at sea. Like the mountains they have carved out through centuries, the rough waters of life have too molded me into what I am today. And while I wish never to return to the harsh sea, I can look back on my time there and see how far my efforts have taken me.
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