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Saturday, February 3, 2024

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.

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Edward Gibbon

The process of navigating the journeys of our lives is often symbolized by sailing on a stormy sea as the wind and the waves whip around us. Just as the wind can be either an obstacle or a support based on a sailor’s skill, so can our circumstances either hinder or help us depending on how we choose to view and respond to them. The 18th-century historian and author Edward Gibbon recounts a battle determined by wind in his astounding six-volume work, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” During the siege of Constantinople, “a squadron [of] five stout and lofty ships” sailed by “skillful pilots … long practiced at the perils of the sea” set out to rescue the city. Heavy-laden with supplies and faced with bountiful cannons and artillery, the sailors used their deftness and resilience to turn their obstacles to their advantage, which led to their success. As Gibbon points out, sometimes our greatest strength is simply our resolve to ride through the rough waters of life and just keep sailing as best we know how.

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What playwright said, “Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand"?
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