Dr. Robert Ballard: Closing Remarks
What I like most about life at sea is the epic journey. The real decoupling with today’s society, leaving today’s society. If you know much about the concept of an epic journey, it begins with a dream, a quest, and a vision. To me it was to be Captain Nemo. But then the consequences of living your dream is that there’s a lot of consequences.One of them is you have to prepare yourself. That’s what school’s all about- getting ready to go on your epic journey. But then you assemble your team, your Argonauts. It’s not a solo trip. This is not a solo thing, this is a team sport. And you go out with your team and you are challenged. You’re challenged in two ways, you are challenged mentally: did you prepare yourself? Are educated enough for this challenge? And that you can pretty well predict and pass. The hardest one is the test of your heart. Because you’re going to be challenged and you’re going to face failure. You have to overcome failure to reach success. Most people are in failure avoidance, and if they’re in failure avoidance, they are in success avoidance. Failure and success are the yin and yang. But then you overcome your tests and Neptune shows you the truth, gives you the Golden Fleece. And then the journey’s never over until you return to society and share what you have learned. And that’s what an expedition is all about. You go out with a mission, you assemble your team, you’re tested, you overcome the test, you attain the truth, and you return to society and share it. We’re all on these epic journeys. Everyone’s on an epic journey, ours is just very obvious. So going to sea reinforces the journey we’re all on, which Joseph Campbell so beautifully said, “Life is the act of becoming, one never arrives.” That’s what expeditions should be; you go on an expedition, only to go to the next one and the next one. And hopefully through telepresence a bit you get to go on some of them physically, but most of through telepresence. So I can also go home at night and be with my children and wife.