Someone once asked me: What’s with this obsession with pirates? If we all live like pirates, won’t we degenerate into a bunch of selfish cutthroats creating a hell for each other? The truth is living life with a pirate spirit is not about cheating and lying to aggrandize ourselves. It isn’t about taking what doesn’t belong to you. The thugs who create havoc around the world stealing ships, taking hostages, maiming and killing aren’t really part of this pirate equation. In denying mariners their property, their right to earn an honest living on the seas, and often enough their lives, these criminals become the very pariah they flail against.
Living life with a pirate spirit is really about reclaiming your life and your dreams, two things stolen from many of us a long, long time ago. The reason pirates from the Golden Age appeal so strongly to us is that they symbolize the independent, swashbuckling adventurer we all long to be, an adventurer willing to take chances to bring his dreams to life.
Sailors love the sea for the very same reason. Beyond the sight of land, a thousand miles from everywhere, something stirs in us and we feel alive like it was the first day of creation. Anything and everything suddenly becomes possible.
There’s another aspect to living our pirate dreams. When we become emboldened and take steps to make our dreams real, there is a rippling effect, so that we can’t help but want others to live their dreams as well.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh once said, “We are all islands in a common sea.” The humanity we share, knowing what it is to hope and dream and love and despair, these are the things that connect us to each other. No island ever became greater by taking from another. Would you live your pirate dreams? Then encourage others to do the same. You cannot claim freedom for yourself and deny it to others.
What chance have you taken lately? What dreams burn in your heart? What are you willing to do this coming week to help make one of them come true? Steal back part of your life. Chart a new course, and when you see a fellow mariner on the sea of life, lend him a helping hand. Pirates like other pirates. They love their adventurous spirit; they relate to the yearnings deep in their hearts. You can see it at a Jimmy Buffett concert. You can see it at a Bike Rally. Stand fast! See you out on the High Seas.