François Gabart: French sailor slashes around the world solo record
Eyemouth Harbour in the Sixties
When I read this article, it took me right back to my time as a ten year-old when I lived in a fishing village in Berwickshire whose lifeline was the sea. In Eyemouth, everybody was connected to the harbour in some way. We all knew, or were related to, somebody on one of the Seine-netters that made Eyemouth such a busy place.
This is why we admired the achievement of Francis Chichester so much. He sailed around the world single-handed in his yacht, Gypsy Moth IV. It took him 266 days. We watched him cross the line as he sailed into Plymouth. A few days later, he sailed up the Thames to Greenwich and was deservedly knighted by the Her Majesty The Queen.
At the time, which was before man stepped onto the moon…
When I was studying philosophy and religion at UNC Charlotte, we spent a lot of time, as one would expect, on the nature of mankind. My favorite theologian and existentialist was and is Paul Tillich, he had an incredible mind and ability to put the human condition is perspective.
In his work The Courage To Be, Tillich discussed how a loss in the meaning of life causes a plague-like condition of anxiety . He cited courage as the cure. He goes on to discuss how having courage is the strength to go on living a quality existence even when faced with the fact that we all will finally die and may not live with any great purpose. Also, that people will spend their lives living with a huge amount of guilt for not being perfect or good enough.
We have had another mass shooting in the United States and with this tragedy comes questions. How could someone do such a horrible thing? Should we have stronger gun laws? How do we stop these mass shootings? What is going on with people these days? How could a loving God allow such violence?
Unfortunately, there are many painful truths about humankind. One of those facts is the competitive, aggressive and selfish nature that lives inside us.
You can take away guns, knives, ammunition, but you cannot take away the human condition. Where there exists insecurity, there will exist desire. And desire is one of the most powerful forces in man. It can launch a person into space and it can kill another for $25.
It is the condition in which we exist. It is the condition in which we will always exist. It is an inescapable fact of being human.
We are told to not be afraid and to have faith –“doubt not, fear not”. Indeed, doubt and fear are the two most powerful forces that hold us back in life. For some, they can be completely crippling. For others, they simply hold us back from achieving our full potential in life.
I’ve often wondered about these admonishments. How can you tell someone to not have fear or doubt? How can you respond? “Okay, I won’t have any more fear and I’ll have complete faith.” Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy? It’s not though, is it? I believe that what these are really saying though is that we should not allow these to get in our way. We can start to eliminate doubt and fear by exercising faith and courage.
Herein lays the crux of the matter. I believe that many of us don’t have a true…