wanting to be someone


i have posted before about my fascination concerning the journey of earnest shackleton and the endurance. i read everything i can get my hands on and i watch everything i can find concerning the journey. last night i started watching the endurance and was struck by a statement concerning thomas orde-lees made by one of his grandsons. orde-lees’s grandson said:

my grandfather always wanted to be someone. this is why he would refuse to row. that was something everyone did. yet when the need for bailing was reached my grandfather bailed like a mad man for the entire night. of course, everyone would remember that. gentleman don’t row but they will do whatever is necessary to save everyone else.

the grandson’s statement is said with a wink and a nod because he obviously recognizes the absurdity of not rowing when it is needed because it is “common” while bailing like a madman because it is uncommon. at least at this point in his journey orde-lees was apparently only interested in serving others when it would be lauded but not when it was in anonymity.

i wonder how many times i do things just when others will see it? or how many times i avoid serving when it will go unseen? how often do i believe and behave like orde-lees?

i think gentlemen do the menial things that never receive the glory and allow others to chase after the meaningless credit. i hope i usually live like it.

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