Our Moral Compass: The Shores Of Life

“You have come to the shore. There are no instructions.”

-Denise Levertov

In today’s quote British-American poet Denise Levertov reminds us that life comes with no instructions on how we are to live it. Each of us has the opportunity to create our own life based on what we value and are within our morals and principles. Our instructions are forged based on our experiences and will look different from anyone else’s. Denise Levertov also indicates that we have to come to the shore. I believe that the shore represents the end of journey on the ocean of life and when we reach the shore we also arrive at discovering who we truly are: our destination.

The image that comes to my mind when I read or hear this quote is from the movie Castaway starring Tom Hanks where he is a FedEx executive whose plane crashes on a deserted island and he is the only survivor. His mission is to get back home to his girlfriend and family. It is when he finally gets off of the island and is floating on a man made boat in the middle of nowhere that it is in that moment that I was specifically referring to. Much like in that scene of the movie, that is how life is for us at times. We are floating and unsure of which way to go except onward. As mother nature disrupts Tom Hanks’ journey back home, it is necessary for him to adjust his sails both literally and figuratively in overcoming storms, sharks and anything else that comes about. We do the same thing when faced with our own challenges and experiences. Like he had no instructions on how to get to the shore back home, neither do we. We create these as we go until finally we arrive at our destination.

Our moral compass is our guide and we use it to help us arrive at the shores of our own lives. Along the way we create our own manual and/or instructions for ourselves based on that guidance of our own moral compass. So before you reach the shore of your own life what adjustments in your own instructions do you need to make?

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?

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