In Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow always has this compass with him that points to the thing he wants most, which he uses to navigate his way through the sea to his inevitable next destination. Despite questionable morality and character, Jack is such an intriguing and beloved character precisely because of this guiding principle of his. He goes straight after exactly what he wants all the time. Somehow this makes his nefarious adventures seem somewhat honorable, and it’s difficult not to end up on his side.
One reason people love this characteristic is that owning up to your biggest desires is rare nowadays. By and large, we trade passion for security or comfort, and we deny ourselves the things that would truly make us happy. We get scared that we are unable to have what we want most, so we stave off disappointment by not trying or by saying that what we have already is what we really wanted all along.
Tonight I watched a movie called Something Borrowed, which I won’t spoil because I think it’s a worthwhile rental. The movie featured a what-coulda-been relationship that you never were really sure if you should root for. Usually romantic comedies have clear cut right and wrong, but this one was all over the place with conflicting feelings. It felt like even though people were so right and so in love, they had gone about it so wrong, so cowardly that it couldn’t be right.
It was all about people who were not saying what they needed to say nor owning up to their feelings. They were scared and unsure, and they held themselves back. Not to mention that they hurt others along the way. No matter what their intentions were, they came across as weak. Honestly, I think this was the beauty of the movie. It was real to what happens in real life. Going along with what’s expected, keeping feelings bottled up, taking the easy way, and making mistakes because of denying yourself. I see people going through this stuff everyday. We all hold ourselves back at times.
Right now, if I close my eyes and let my mind go to the thing it wants most, I know exactly where I’d be. If I ignored those people or things I feel I should pursue, or the obligations I feel I have to fulfill, I know exactly what I’d be doing. If I set aside my pride and insecurities, I know who I’d be with. We all do. We know deep down what we want. Most of the time we know right where to find it, and we don’t need a compass to tell us where to go.
For as noble as it seems to try to hold it all together like our namesake, June Cleaver, in the case of the things and people that matter most to us, I think throwing in a little more Jack Sparrow is in order. Savvy?