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Other`s Writings

The Ocean And The Fjords?

Tom was a lieutenant, assistant to
the captain of the frigate "Impudence."
He had trouble with the hierarchical
nature of command, and his natural
impatience sometimes caused him to
question the captain's orders.

One day, as the Impudence cruised
through the frigid waters surrounding
Norway, Tom went too far. He
contradicted his superior in front of
the entire crew.
The captain did not get angry.
Instead he slowly approached the
lieutenant, took him by the shoulder
and walked him aside. By that time Tom
already regretted his insolent

"Look at all these fjords, Tom," the
captain said. "See how many there are,
and how impetuously they flow."
Tom didn't know what the captain was
trying to say, but he obeyed.

"Now look the other way and see how
vast the ocean is, as if it were
drinking up all the light of the sun.
See how its movements seem to swallow
everything. Do you think the fjords are
greater in majesty than the ocean?"

"No Sir, I don't."
"Really? But there are so many
fjords. And they flow so much faster
than the gentle swell of the sea."

"But still, Sir, the ocean is
stronger and more majestic than a

"That's exactly what I wanted to hear
you say, Tom," said the captain. "If
rivers and seas are greater than
streams and brooks, it is because they
are always lower. If you want to become
a captain one day, you first have to
learn to obey, to listen to what I say
and to learn from me. One day you may
surpass me, but that day has not yet


This story contains a profound truth:

If you want to learn, you have to
know how to hold back, observe and
forget yourself. Every living creature
grows by assimilating what comes from
outside itself.

"The sage who wants to lead his
people acts as a servant to his people."

Lao Tzu

© AriZonaMoon 2008