Early in the morning on the fourth day of our summer vacation cruise through Alaska’s inside passages, I was sitting at the aft of the Celebration Cruise Ship Infinity having breakfast and watching the beautiful scenery disappear behind us. I noticed an older Japanese gentleman chanting in prayer off to my left just at the edge of the upper deck. Off my right shoulder just behind me were two fellows I had seen the day before at a "Friends of Bill W" meeting. They looked to be engaged in deep conversation as they smoked cigarettes and drank their morning coffee. Friends at my table were engaged in lots of excited chatter, talking about the day before, including the treetop canopy zip line obstacle course. Some were talking about being up at 2:00 a.m. hoping to see the Northern lights, while others were talking about breakthroughs in medicine and the advantages of portable personal electronic medical records. The teenager at the table next to us was slumped over in a moody frump.
As I observed the varied behaviors that seem to reveal a variety of moods, from excitement, eagerness, introspection, and the personal interactions I saw, I reached the conclusion I have reached before. Changing the circumstance, changing the environment – here we were being waited on hand and foot – you step out of your cabin and when you return, it is cleaned up – again, two or three times a day, five-course dinners with seemingly limitless choices, tables cleared before we could turn around, swimming pools,
hot tubs, sauna, movies, and meditation. We were living in the lap of luxury and still dramas were being played out all around me.
Unfortunately most people don’t seem to pack lightly for our most important cruise, our journey through life. Instead, most of us tend to bring all of our baggage with us wherever we go. I guess that is why we call our prejudices, fears, petty likes and dislikes baggage. They weigh us down, slow us down, and if we are not careful, they can sink our ship. Our baggage certainly keeps us from being as agile as we would be if we packed lightly. Wouldn’t it be great as we travelled through life if we could pass a rule like the airlines that said "You can only bring two carry-ons" – two pieces of baggage – one personal item – purse or briefcase, and one suitcase.
So if you like the idea of packing lightly, how could you lighten your load?
You will have a bounce in your step, a lightness in your walk. You will cruise through life on a luxury liner.