The 365 Commitment

Half a Map

When my kids were really young, their favorite cartoon was Backyardigans. The first episode is a classic, called “Pirate Treasure.” Definitely worth a watch, here it is on Youtube. There are many great moral lessons in this little cartoon, plus the soundtrack is awesome. Every once and awhile I will find myself whistling the Pirate Says Arrgh or the Falling of a Log song. Hilarious.

At any rate, repeated several times in the cartoon is the fact that the separate bands of “scurvy pirates” only have one half of a map. One of them will say, yeah, but we have half the treasure map! The other will say, “I wish we had the whole map.” The response is always the same, “A half a map is better than nuthin.” And so that is a theme in our lives as we grow up and as we enter on a quest, wherever it might lead. A half a map is better than nothing.

The pirates eventually team up together and combine their two halves of the map. This of course leads them to the buried treasure on an abandon island marked with an X. They will discover that it is literally marked with an X, right after a few spots marked T, U, V, and W. However, before this happens the crisis has to be overcome. In the cartoon, there is always some crisis that the have to overcome that inevitably highlights a weakness or a fear of one of the youngsters. Usually, this is the irrational fears of Pablo the Penguin. He is always the energetic, enthusiastic and excitable one in the group that gets overwhelmed easily. Funny, I associate with Pablo.

In this particular cartoon, the come across a hot pit of boiling mud which cannot be crossed. Pablo freaks out and to make matters worse they discover a small palm tree that has fell across the boiling river of mud that they can use to cross. This requires an incredible leap of faith by Pablo, who has a peg leg and wobbles as he crosses the treacherous ravine. He goes last because the other pirates sing a song as they cross. Pablo fights his fear and crossed carefully and at the last moment starts to fall, but is saved by his friends.

The story is about finding treasure, working with your friends and colleagues, overcoming fears, and most importantly being happy that at least you have half a map. Seriously, shouldn’t we all live by the understanding that is stated so clearly, “half a map is better than nothin.” So that is what I am going to live by as I enter into this next week. I may not have it all figured out, I may only have a band of scurvy pirates to back me, I may have a peg leg to deal with, but I am going to go forward, bravely and with conviction. I may not have it all figured out, I probably only have half of it figured out, but hey….half of a map is better than nothing.

Guy Reams

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