Perspectives on Motive


The owner of this boat came to the Gulf Coast to cash in on opportunities in the BP Oil Cleanup.    At those times, rumors flourished that basically anyone with any type of craft could get paid a per diem for oil cleanup services, with little supervision as how they spent their days.

Sure, plenty of well meaning folks put their boats in the water and checked in with coordinators, working their butts off in oil-cleanup related tasks.    But, disasters are distractions and it's easy to make a buck in the frenzy of moments like that.   Some, got paid a fair daily rate to go out on the water and spend the day, accomplishing very little work.

Did this boat owner do this? Who knows.   What I DO know, is he left his craft in this slip, unmaintained until the point that it sank.    He created a mess for the really nice folks that run the Marina to deal with.  As the dockmaster told me, "He got his BP check and left town."

I've always been drawn to the classifications that some people trully intend to leave the world a better place through their actions while others are simply here to take what they can.

When I was younger, I was a taker, for sure.   

My parents would do whatever they could legally get away with and often some things, they didn't.   From their example I learned that being smart was my weapon and I could wield it freely and unexpectedly to "get" what I wanted from people.      

In my younger times I was a manipulative little creep and nowhere near as smart as I thought I was. 

In my personal life, through exposure to my father in law, I found a model for integrity.  Through my career life, I worked for one of the most honest and decent human beings to ever occupy Earth.  At first, my exposure to these guys was more of a curious novelty.    I was fascinated and generally confused that they would do things for other people completely unphased by imposition and unexpecting of something in return.

Years later, my father in law passed away unexpectedly. (On April 1st, no less.)

The line of people that came to see him into the next life was something like I'd never seen before.  His funeral procession spanned two towns.    It was in the wake of those moments that I looked back at my own motives and learned from the model of his life.    

If I scratched and clawed,lied and cheated my way up the corporate ladder, I'd gain the forced respect I always sought after but the victory party would be a lonely one.    If I touched as many lives as possible through random acts of kindness, not only would I find the respect I sought but I would gain lifelong friends along the way... 

To Fred, I say -- Thanks for living a life of example.

And to the creep that left the mess pictured here, in Fairhope -- "dude, not cool." :)