Thursday, August 11, 2016

THE LIGHTHOUSE PRINCIPLES







Pic.: Mansi Modi Bhuva



Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.


This story is told by Dr. Stephen Covey in his famous book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, where he tells us that it is an actual story found in the ‘Naval Proceedings Manual’. Through this story, Dr. Covey beautifully conveys that, in life, there are the Laws of Nature – the Lighthouse Principles – that govern our life, no matter who we are… and whether we like them or not, and, yes, whether we agree with them or not…

I am a huge admirer of Dr. Covey’s writings. So, as a mark of respect, I wish to present this amazing story as it is. The only change is the presentation here in two tenses…



 THE LIGHTHOUSE PRINCIPLES



PAST:


It was a dark and stormy night.

“Captain, captain, wake up!”

“Ohh … What is it?”

“Sorry to awaken you sir, but we have a serious problem.”

“Well what is it?”

“There’s a ship in our sea-lane about 20 miles away, and they refuse to move.”

“Tell them to move.”

“Sir, we have. They won’t move.”

“I’ll tell them!” The signal went out: “Move starboard 20 degrees. At once!”

The signal returned: “Move starboard yourself 20 degrees. At once.”

“I can’t believe this. I mean, I’m a captain. Let them know who I am. I am important.” The signal went out: “This is Captain Horatio Hornblower, the twenty sixth, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.”

The signal returned: “This is seaman Carl Jones, the third, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.”

“What arrogance! Who is this joker? I mean, we’re a battleship! We could just blow them — let them know who we are!” The signal went out: “This is the Mighty Missouri, Flagship of the Seventh Fleet!”

The signal returned: “This is the Lighthouse.”

Story courtesy: Dr. Stephen R. Covey (From ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’)


PRESENT:


It is a dark and stormy night.

“Captain, captain, wake up!”

“Ohh … What is it?”

“Sorry to awaken you sir, but we have a serious problem.”

“Well what is it?”

“There’s a ship in our sea-lane about 20 miles away, and they refuse to move.”

“Tell them to move.”

“Sir, we have. They won’t move.”

“I’ll tell them!” The signal goes out: “Move starboard 20 degrees. At once!”

The signal returns: “Move starboard yourself 20 degrees. At once.”

“I can’t believe this. I mean, I’m a captain. Let them know who I am. I am important.” The signal goes out: “This is Captain Horatio Hornblower, the twenty sixth, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.”

The signal returns: “This is seaman Carl Jones, the third, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.”

“What arrogance! Who is this joker? I mean, we’re a battleship! We could just blow them — let them know who we are!” The signal goes out: “This is the Mighty Missouri, Flagship of the Seventh Fleet!”

The signal returns: “This is the Lighthouse.”

Story courtesy: Dr. Stephen R. Covey (From ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’)


GERALD D’CUNHA

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