Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You'll walk the plank fer that, Land-lubber!

Does anyone remember the name Jim Hawkins? He’s the hero from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I seem to remember images from my childhood of having seen a Disney production of the book, but these images have only come back bit by bit as I’ve recently been listening to the audio book. In light of having listened to the book, I need to find that movie and watch it again.

At one point in the book Jim gets entangled with the pirates and makes a promise to them not to run away from the buccaneers during a meeting with the good doctor. The doctor urges him to flee with him while escape was possible, but Jim refuses because of his promise. I found myself rooting for Jim to escape since this was probably his only chance. My own thoughts were, “Jim, you can escape. They’re only pirates! Your word does not bind you since they’re thieves.” But upon reflection I realized that Jim did the right thing. He honored his word even though the pirates were crooks and untrustworthy themselves.

My conclusion from this story is that the integrity of one’s word is not to whom a promise is given but to Truth. True character and integrity does not require one to justify your actions. It is instead the truthful fulfillment of one’s responsibilities, thoughts, and words.

5 comments:

steve mitchell said...

Again, historicus makes a dad proud with his insights. I guess that is why some books are called 'classics'. Tell the truth, no matter what, even to pirates!! Wow, what a concept.

Wilhelmine Mitchell said...

Amen.

tbayne said...

Very good insight my brutha!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nice comment! Loved the book as a teen and love the way Jim stayed and kept his word. Most land-lubbers word's are useless to pirates, but not Jim!