Zygmunt Bauman – SAILOR


One thing which even the most seasoned and discerning masters of the art of choice do not and cannot choose, is the society to be born into – and so we are all in travel, whether we like it or not.

We have not been asked about our feelings anyway.

Thrown into a vast open sea with no navigation charts and all the marker buoys sunk and barely visible, we have only two choices left :

1. We may rejoice in the breath-taking vistas of new discoveries

2. Or we may tremble out of fear of drowning. One option not really realistic is to claim sanctuary in a safe harbour; one could bet that what seems to be a tranquil haven today will be soon modernized, and a theme park, amusement promenade or crowded marina will replace the sedate boat sheds.

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3. The third option not thus being available, which of the two other options will be chosen or become the lot of the sailor depends in no small measure on the ship’s quality and the navigation skills of the sailors.

Not all ships are seaworthy, however. And so the larger the expanse of free sailing, the more the sailor’s fate tends to be polarized and the deeper the chasm between the poles.

A pleasurable adventure for the well-equipped yacht may prove a dangerous trap for a tattered dinghy. In the last account, the difference between the two is that between life and death.


Zygmunt Bauman, Globalization: Education Research, Change and Reform 

 

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