Loving Cook

Lately I have been researching Captain James Cook, an 18th century British explorer and mapmaker. Born the son of a farm labourer, he took up the seafaring life at a young age. Offered command of a merchant vessel, he declined so that he could join the Royal Navy. His career was marked by much adversity, his humble beginnings were not appreciated by the nobles of the time, who felt that bloodline was much more important than ability. His three great voyages of discovery were marked by great advances in botany and biology, and mapping of almost the whole of the southern hemisphere .. which disproved a common theory held by many influential and noble-born scientists that there was a great southern land waiting to be discovered in the South Pacific ocean.

I am remnded of my own formative years, working for my father, a local furrier at the time. My uncle wanted me to start as an assistant manager there, but my father wouldn't have it. He told my uncle that I would start at the bottom, and stay there until I learned to sell .. he was very clear that I earn the respect of my co-workers before I received any promotion. Captain Cook was loved by his crew mostly because he started his career in the rigging, not as an officer with a purchased commission and a noble bloodline .. so he knew what was right and reasonable, given the situation at hand. I learned to sell, and became their best salesperson .. even my dad, my greatest advocate, was surprised. At that time, I would call every friend and relative that I had to tell them about the new furs, or the great sale we were having .. many of those calls ended up being sales. I would join clubs and groups, and sell up a storm any way that I could. That is what was noted about Captain Cook in his day .. he would always get the job done, and done right. That is why he was able to best the class system of his day, his single-minded committment to the job.

I know that my small accomplishments do not compare to the exploits of Captain Cook, but I feel an empathy, and respect for the man. So many people bemoan their situation in life, but how many actually try to do anything about it? You can't be half-assed when it comes to your life .. Captain Cook knew this, and so do I. —Buddha

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