The two words I heard most often in the Navy were: “Watertight Integrity;” which only makes sense because without it we wouldn’t have a fleet of ships and submarines. I was a navigator on nuclear submarines and the issue of being watertight couldn’t have been more important as we would go hundreds of feet below the surface to do our jobs; water surrounded us; we could be compromised from any direction.
The thing about remaining watertight is that we couldn’t even have a pen hole in our hull or we’d drown. Our submarine was 425 feet long and three stories high so I hope you can imagine how amazing it can be for just a small hole to sink a submarine.
The concept of being watertight has implications beyond boats and ships as it’s applicable to our lives as well. We are to have watertight integrity if we want to succeed. One small hole and our lives can sink. So the question is what causes holes? What should we look out for?
The thing about integrity is that it isn’t something that you generally lose all at once it’s a slow drip. The easiest way to describe what starts a leak is when anytime we do something that we wouldn’t want someone else to know about…this is what causes the leaks to begin to spring leading to a flood that drowns our lives and our reputations.
Our integrity matters…especially if we have children to whom we should set a good example. We can’t become so big that something little can’t destroy us (history has proven this). Like the Navy stays vigilant about watertight integrity we must do the same for our lives not only for ourselves but all of those people in our lives that we have the honor to influence.
Jamestown was colonized on May 4, 1607; it followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown served as the capitol of the Virginia Colony for 83 years (1616-1699), until the town was abandoned and Williamsburg became the capitol.
Think about the people who sailed there for opportunities they couldn’t get in Britain. They had to have money to travel so many sold everything they had to make the trip; basically the three ships weren’t filled with poor people but instead the more affluent.
Most of those travelling were adventurers and entrepreneurs not the rough and tumblers who knew how to live off the land. They learned years later they should strategically bring people in (free of charge), for the various needs they had like blacksmithing, construction, fishing, hunting, etc. Not having them originally proved costly as 80% of those who arrived died of starvation and disease.
The shipping company thought the Jamestown location would be good because it wasn’t inhabited by nearby Virginia Indian tribes but come to find out the reason the Indians weren’t there is they considered the land too poor and remote for agriculture. The island was isolated, swampy, offered limited space, and was plagued by mosquitoes and brackish tidal river water unsuitable for drinking.
The fact is, the shipping/transport company screwed these people over. They didn’t share the bad things that were going on and instead said things were great so they could continue to sail people to the New World.
The settlers had decent relationships with the natives for around three years up until the Indians began to lose territory because more and more ships were coming in and people needed food and shelter. There were no treaties so the settlers were basically stealing resources from the natives which led to skirmishes where many settlers were killed. Then of course they needed to bring protection over from Britain. They never learned their lesson as they continued to move west for hundreds of years which led to major wars with the Indians with hundreds of thousands of lives lost.
I couldn’t imagine living under the conditions the early settlers experienced…I’m too spoiled. Think about what life would be like now if these people didn’t risk their lives to travel over the ocean (not on a luxury liner), to a land they didn’t know. My guess is America would be settled but the question is by whom. Britain, France, and Spain were the imperialists looking for land/territory during that period. The fact is our country could just as easily been settled by the French. Au Revoir.
Author: John Mann