HERE BE DRAGONS
“Here be dragons.”
The seamen whispered as he traced his finger along the wrinkles of old map, showing his crew the uncharted territory yet to be explored at the far reaches of the world.
“And this is where we must go.”
Here be dragons was a phrase used by the explorers and the seamen of the old days.
It was a term used to described dangerous and unexplored territories. What was unknown to these men of exploration.
Tall tales of sea monsters with unspeakable forms and dragons the size of ships would spread through the taverns, striking fear in the hearts of young sailors and boys who had snuck in to hear the old men tell their stories.
“Dragons, with iron scales, and breath like sunrise fire.” The old salts would say. “Bearing the strength of one hundred men and clutches that can shatter bones! With wing spans that casts shadows over cities.”
The map-makers would sketch detailed drawings of these creatures of legend, allowing the travelers to be aware of what lied beyond the uncharted portions of the world.
And what has changed? Nothing.
There is still the unknown. The untapped. Dreams and visions that appear as far-off mountains, vast seas, and uncharted portions of the world. And they are waiting to be explored. Waiting to be conquered by those explorers and journeymen brave enough to step foot off the dock.
But there is a problem isn’t there?
Here be dragons.
Fear grips us as we hear the far-off stories from the old men about the unknown. Hesitation sneaks in. Mockers mock and doubters doubt as we plan our voyage.
Our nightmares are filled with these dark tales. As we sleep, dragons emerge from their darkened caves, laughing and mocking and snapping their iron-like jaws, their razor sharp teeth dripping red with blood.
“Turn back coward!” They thunder, smoke pouring from their nostrils. “Turn back. Only death awaits you here in the unknown.”
And what do we do? Run? Turn back?
What did the seamen do? The true explorers and adventurers of history.
They pressed onward.
They ignored the tall tales of the drunken old seamen by the fire.
They stepped off the docks. They raised their sails. They headed towards the unknown shores.
They moved past the fear. Ignored the doubt.
Did the fear leave? No, but they refused to give it a voice or allow it to influence their decision to embark on their journey.
They refused to turn and run. Regardless of what lied beyond the horizon.
“No,” they said. “We will not turn back. We have come too far and waited too long. We will see the lands of promise. We will take the ground destined for us. We will see this dream manifest. We do not fear dragons!”
So I say to you, and to me. Those who have dreams, visions, and passions that terrifies us because they rest in the unknown. Who fear the stories of untold dangers and dragons that cause our knees to shake and our being to quiver. Don’t turn back.
Raise your sails. Pull up the anchor. Venture into the uncharted waters and land upon the shores of the unknown. Take up your sword and raise your shield. And know this…
If there truly are dragons there, waiting for us in the unknown, remember, even dragons bleed.
So cut them down.
“Here be dragons.”
Yes. But it makes no difference. Because I am not turning back. We are not turning back.
Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
We will venture into the unknown, the unexplored, the uncharted.
We do not fear dragons.
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