The Crow’s Nest

Old sailing ships used to have a basket attached to the highest mast on the ship. The basket was called The Crow’s Nest.  A sailor was assigned the job of climbing up into the basket, and looking around.  That sailor had better viewing than anyone else on the ship.  He was the lookout.


Years ago I was struggling with an issue that I thought would never go away.  A friend pulled me aside and told me to put on a pair of “10 year goggles”.  I asked him what he meant.  He explained that I should pretend that it is now 10 years in the future.  Did I think that I would be struggling with this issue in 10 years?  Was the issue so big that it would still be there?  Or would 10 years make it a distant memory?

He was right.  The problem resolved itself, and it did so in much less than 10 years.


There is a convenience store near me with a penny pot by the cash register.  There is a small sign on it that says “need a penny, take a penny…have a penny, leave a penny”.


I was surprised this week when two people asked me for hope.  Not help.  Hope.  They weren’t feeling so good about things in their lives, and they needed to hear me say that it is going to be ok.

So I climbed up into the Crow’s Nest, and I looked around.  Both of their situations looked ok, from the perspective of the Crow’s Nest.  So I told them that it was going to be ok.

Why is it easier for us to provide that perspective for other people than it is to provide it for ourselves?


Hope is a funny thing.  I think we are supposed to share it.  Sort of like the penny pot, it seems to work best if I leave some around if I have some extra, and I take some from someone else if I need some.

I have a friend who talks about our inability to lift a chair that we are sitting in.  Try it.  Try to lift your own chair, while you are sitting in it.  It isn’t possible.

But it IS possible to life a chair that someone else is sitting in, especially if you have help.  Three or four people can easily lift a chair that someone else is sitting in.

Life is like that.  Sometimes I can’t seem to lift myself out of whatever chair (situation) I am in.  But someone else comes along, and says something that lifts me up right away.



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