Our Sinking Boat


Isolationism isn’t a great policy for a government, an organization or for yourself. When you isolate yourself from the world, you deny others the opportunity to learn from you, but you deny yourself the opportunity to help others.

When you follow a proxy of isolationism and you forgo the opportunity to help others, you’re essentially saying, “you live your life and I will live mine.”

So what are the consequences of ignoring everyone around you except a very few?

Do you think Columbine could have possibly been prevented if someone lent an ear to those young people or stopped athletes from bullying them on a daily basis?

Could we have saved the lives of more Catholics, Jews, gypsies, and Muslims if we had concerned ourselves over Hitler a little earlier?

Could you yourself have been prevented from doing something silly if a family member or friend had stopped to ask you why and genuinely talked to you about your actions?

Let’s take it a step further. How is the world affected by the actions of one nation? How is community affected by the actions of a few? How is your family affected by the action of one member?

A wise man said, “the similitude of the one who is steadfast on good and the one who has fallen over it is that of a people that come upon a boat. Some of them go to the top and the others go to the bottom. Those on the bottom – in order for them to drink – had to disturb those on top. So they said to themselves, let us make a hole in the bottom of the boat in this portion of ours, so as not to disturb those above.” The wise man continued, “if they leave them to what they want to do, they will all perish. And if they hold their hands they’ll save the people on the bottom, and all of them will be saved.”

Your inaction could very well backfire and dig you into a hole which you thought you were climbing out of.

Can you imagine if our government didn’t stop the massacre of innocent Bosnians in Kosovo? What if we didn’t pressure our local police departments to step up school safety or allowed our children to run wild in the middle of the street?

Sometimes the little things we do such as writing a letter to our local congressman, participating in a neighborhood cleanup, and teaching our children lessons from the past can serve not only to help us feel better on the inside, but also serve to keeping our boat afloat.

The day we care primarily for ourselves is the day we sink our own boat.


  1. KryptoniteLady
    Dec 29, 2009

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! All of this HAS to be repeated over and over again. We need to LOVE each other more! This is a timeless principle!CARE = LOVE = PEACE


  2. Allison C.
    Dec 29, 2009

    —————-Do you think Columbine could have possibly been prevented if someone lent an ear to those young people or stopped athletes from bullying them on a daily basis?—————-I think the problem is a little more complex than that, HOWEVER, if we as human beings cared more about one another, many of these problems could be prevented. 


  3. Johnny Jay-man
    Dec 29, 2009

    Good reminder, but it needs to be said: even if you act earlier you may not be able to prevent the boat from sinking.


  4. Valerie Garcia
    Dec 30, 2009

    The video was really sad, but eye-opening. The boat analogy is great. Often times, we let our own family members and coworkers sink us, even though we could have prevented it. All it takes is a word or a hand.


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