Same Ocean, Different Boats
Recently I was reminded of the common phrase “we are all in the same boat” when I was leading a meditation at Camp Shout Out, a camp for kids who stutter. I’ve always felt strongly about how we can help one another and work towards the betterment of humanity. Although, this statement might not be as accurate as I once thought.
One of my best friends, Mikey, was talking about the idea that perhaps we aren’t really in the same boat but instead are “in the same ocean, each of us in our own boats.”
The notion implies that we can paddle up to other boats to assist them when they’re in need. We can share or celebrate with each other during times of joy, but we still need to travel our own journey. That includes our daily struggles, which no one can do for us.
Let’s go back for a moment to the idea “we’re all in the same boat.” This mindset refers to all of us sharing the same risks and behaviors.
For example, “We are all struggling with COVID and what follows it.” Each person has suffered from COVID in some way. However, if we change the perspective to “we are all in the same ocean in our own little boats,” we begin to look closer at what each person might be grappling with within their lives.
Some might be rowing their boats in troubled waters regarding the social impact. Others with the political implications. Over there, people are trying to keep afloat with the emotional or psychological struggles that accompany COVID. On the other hand, some are dealing with physical sickness brought on by COVID disease.
No matter what struggles we face, we have to steer our little boats as we move through life, but that doesn’t mean we stay isolated. We shouldn't forget about the power of throwing someone a lifeline if their ship is sinking or treading rocky waters.
I find that we are the most valuable to others when we can help those in need. I believe that we have the skills, values, and kindness to row up to someone and paddle for them when they need it most. That’s what makes us human; being altruistic during turbulent times.
Take some time this week to notice where you could help a person in need who is struggling and see if you can be there for them.
With compassion, kindness, and mindful boating,
Co-Host of the Act To Live Podcast
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