“So, Lucio. Do you have a contingency plan?”, asked Gregg.
“What do you mean by a contingency plan?”
“Pirates on the high seas. What would you do if you encounter pirates on the Indian Ocean?”
“I will surrender $1,000 to make them go away. They can take my radar and I would not replace it either. They don’t bother small sailing boats because there isn’t anything to steal, but if I do come across them, I’ll give them what they want. If they shoot a hole in the hull, it will cost me more to repair it.”
[What if they shoot a hole in your chest?], I thought about it silently, but there was no sense in asking him that question. He is risking something far greater than a chance encounter with pirates. What if you discover a leak in your water tank half way across the Indian Ocean? What if you get washed away by a huge wave and all your food spoil? What if the sail breaks in a monstrous storm in the middle of the night? What if you sail into one of those mystery zones where all your navigational equipment becomes totally useless? What if you get so sick and could not even get up from bed? What if you get lonely and desperate and start thinking about your daughter? What if you discovered one day, that you did not have passion for this voyage any more? What if you find yourself wanting to quit? What if… What if…
Lucio is getting ready to sail away from Manila to Europe, a six-week journey…. with a good wind. I cannot help but to be envious. Another soul is seeking what is unexpected and un-discoverable in an ordinary life. He says that he is tired of working for money and he will never work for something he doesn’t like. What happened to this man? Is he another man who is suffering from a premature mid-life crisis?
This man too has befallen to life’s pitfall. Why is it that all men who have seemingly achieved the state of an “ordinary” happy life with a caring wife and loving children get a hollow feeling inside? A dog or two would make this suburban life a picture prefect happy family. Why can’t he be happy? Why can’t he be satisfied with the life that most of us work all our lives to get to? Why is it that these men get an overwhelming urge to leave everything behind to seek if there is something else out there?
Life could not be a happy-end at age 36. It is like a 3 year old knocking everything down, after he so carefully stacked wood blocks to build a tower. Something tells us that there is more beyond. In order to find that out, we must leave the comfort of home and search for what lies ahead – whatever that may be. Will we come back? Will we ever be satisfied with what awaits us? Will we ever find what we are looking for?
“I don’t know what I would do once I get there”, says Lucio without defining where “there” is.
“Last time, I sailed across from Hong Kong to Manila in four days and I could not wait to get off the sailboat. After that, I did not want to see the water for a long time.”
[ Silence ]
“What if, after eight weeks of sailing, you get off the boat and suddenly you know that the only thing you wanted to do is to go back to the ocean. Then you know you are in trouble. What would you do if you find something that you were not supposed to find….”
Lucio laughed. We did not know what to do but to smile as we did not really understand what he meant.
“So, do you have radar?”
“Yup. I have two GPS systems too.”
“What happens if two GPS had different reading? Which one do you trust? You need three so that two readings confirm which one is right.”
“Well, either it works or it doesn’t. You don’t usually get different readings. Besides I’ll be sailing along the land most of the time. It is only the Indian Ocean that I have to cross and it’ll probably take two weeks.”
“What are you going to do for two weeks on the open seas where there is nothing but water and the sun? You could not possibly be looking at the water all that time.”
“Well, actually we will be pretty busy with three guys taking turns. I have an autopilot, but somebody has to watch out just in case something suddenly appears on its course. And I suppose I’ll read a lot.”
“I got an idea. Why don’t each of you give me a book to read.”
That sounds like a wonderful idea. I can send you a book or two that I recommend. I know just the perfect ones to read on a two week of meditative journey. I’ll definitely do that, Lucio.
Endless questions flow out to this brave man. We are all excited about his humble attempt to do what is incalculable. We are all happy that Lucio gets to do what all of us dream of doing, but never have guts to do it. We are all cheering for him.
“Lucio, what would you do if, after three weeks on the high seas with no signs of land, you sighted a small island with three gorgeous women. They’ve never seen an Italian man and fall in love with you instantly. Your ship was wrecked and the only thing you could salvage was your portable phone. What would you do?”
Lucio thinks a second and says, “You gotta take a risk some time!”
Don’t take unimaginable risks… Come to Ormsby Hill instead.
In pursuit of the best Risk/Return scenario…