Sorry, Captain …
The other day someone said to me, “be careful whose toes you step on; they may be connected to the ass you must kiss.”
We all got a good chuckle, but inside I died a little. Lately it’s been brought to my attention—from several different people—that I need to get better at ass-kissing. If only I could suck it up, I’d get much further in life.
Yet, I can’t help it. I don’t have it in me. Like the scorpion said to the frog: It is[n’t] my nature.
However, since there are clever sayings—like the one above about toes and asses—it must be me. The problem must be mine. But, I don’t remember be raised like that. Since when do we admire boot-lickers and brown-nosers? I’m all for humility, but when did obsequiousness become a virtue?
Then I heard the following story, and it made me feel better about my problems. I hope it will guide you too:
A ship was lost in a dark sea. Suddenly a light appears through the storm dead ahead. A man in the wheel house grabs the radio and advises the other vessels to turn 10 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.
After a moment they get this reply “I’m sorry but no. I advise you to turn 10 degrees south.”
The first man takes to the radio again and says, “Listen! This is CAPTAIN Jones, and I ORDER you to turn 10 degrees to the north.”
A moment later: “I’m sorry Captain, but this is Ensign Smith and I INSIST you turn 10 degrees south.”
Now the Captain is enraged: “Listen Ensign…” he shouts. “This is Captain Jones, and THIS is a Naval Destroyer!”
“Copy that,” says Ensign Smith, “but this is a LIGHTHOUSE.”