The old man said to his young passenger as they both rowed through the dark night, ‘in my days there were wooden boats and men of steel, but now it’s steel boat and wooden men,’ this is a phrase from the book; We Die Alone, a 1955 David Howarth’s World War II epic detailing one of the most remarkable survival stories ever written.
Jan Baalsrud was the only survivor of a Norwegian commando team ambushed by the Nazis during World War II. Wounded and with the Germans in pursuit, Baalsrud escaped and miraculously fought his way through the Norwegian tundra to a distant village, where he was saved by locals who helped spirit him to Sweden. Baalsrud suffered frostbite and snowblindness, came through an avalanche, and lived to tell the tale.
Could it be true though that man 50 years ago is not the same as man today? Of course the features are the same i suppose though they’ll probably look slightly smaller then than now. What impact has civilisation played on our sense of responsibility, resilience, determination, will power, toughness etc?
In my days he said, there were wooden boats and men of steel...now i agree that we must respect the past knowing that once it was all that was humanly possible.
However after all the saga of the last two months regarding the 33 Chilean miners, their families, the rescue team and everyone who helped in any little way to make the rescue operation a success, i seem to think by any standard great men are still here, they’re not all celebrities as a matter of fact you meet them on the street all the time; leaders who say what they mean, politicians who take responsibility, fathers who love not only the child but their child’s mum, couples who’ll do anything to give their relationship another chance, mums who take care of the family and run the home like a great corporation... it’s only fair to celebrate them.
I don’t know how you see the future but I’ve got these two boys, 7 and 3; what a blessing to drop them off at school and see the enthusiasm of this great army; God bless teachers, i know we have hope.
Remember, if you lie down to sleep in a blizzard, you’ll never get up...enjoy the fun, endure the pain, be determined and take responsibility for your day. Today, don’t quit!