Learning to Paddle Your Own Boat

This past Sunday at church, a friend of mine was the celebrant, and he told a few stories about times he fell into water as part of a theme of revelry.

After the service, he and I were talking, and part of our conversation turned to lessons we try to impart to younger people.

He spoke about the time he and his children were using a kayak and a canoe. Because his son was older, my friend insisted his son use the kayak on his own at one point.

His reasoning? “I wanted him to learn how to paddle on his own. You can always sandbag in a canoe and let the other person do most or all of the work. In a kayak, you won’t go anywhere unless you put in the effort yourself and figure out how.”

Some days I wonder about my ability to paddle on my own. How much am I hiding behind the efforts of others?

Teamwork is great, and multiple hands can make light work, but if you took away my family or my coworkers, would I be embarrassed or proud of my contributions?

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