I didn't do it.

Sam was out on a fishing trip with his three buddies and was many miles out to sea. At some point during the trip one of the guys, we’ll call him John, pulled out a shotgun and started “skeet” shooting empty beer cans. Sam didn’t think it is a good idea and advises against it. Many beers later John finally got a little too relaxed (aka careless) and blew a good sized hole in the side of the boat. History tells us that holes and boats don’t mix well and, as expected, the boat began to sink.

Sam’s three buddies started to frantically bail water out of the boat using anything they can find – hats, plastic cups, their hands – but Sam just sat there. His buddies told him to help them bail and Sam only replied by saying he was against the idea to begin with and that he shouldn’t have to help clean up their mess.  The water was coming in fast enough that three people need to bail full time to keep the boat afloat. Eventually Sam’s friends began to tire and the water starts coming in faster than they can keep up.

The boat sinks and Sam drowns. Everyone else lives.

As the boat went down John took out the life preservers only to find that there were only three. Sam’s three buddies huddled up and decided that they were actively trying to save the boat, and their lives, so they should get the life jackets. As the boat continued to sink Sam held on for a while but eventually found himself treading water. Despite his efforts he couldn’t keep it up for long and eventually slipped underwater.

What Sam didn’t realize is that even though he was fundamentally against the idea and even though he played no part in the disaster, he was still on the boat. If the boat went down, so did he. Sam was too caught up in the blame game to recognize that the only way to save himself was to save his friends, regardless of whether he felt they deserved to be in their predicament or not.

There are a lot of Sam’s in business. Sam’s eventually drown. Especially when the economy is bad and every life vest is highly coveted. Don’t be Sam.

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Jason McDonald

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