Friday, August 26, 2011

the parable of the lost sherpa


So you are climbing Everest and you have contracted with a Sherpa to guide you to the top. Thing is - he has never led an expedition to the summit. He has been on the mountain most of his life. He’s been to the summit with other sherpas.  And you like him, he’s scrappy and determined; and really wants to go to the summit… to lead a team to the summit. So you go…

At base camp you notice that he’s not always as sure of himself as the more experienced sherpas. He seems to ask a lot of questions. He alternates between great enthusiasm and deep doubt. But he is going. Doubt or no doubt; he is going. And so you follow…

At the next encampment you notice that some new climbers have joined the team. The young Sherpa has invited them. He seems to like them but you are not crazy about them. They are just so different… so unlike the rest of the team (or maybe they are just unlike you). But they seem to want to climb and he wants to lead them (and you) up the mountain.

Then you notice his gear. You have never heard of the maker and you have been climbing for a long time. You also realize that the map he carries, his map to the peak, is not the standard map. In fact, it is a map that many of the other sherpas have rejected – warned others not to trust.

And still more climbers join. Some with no maps. Some with maps they have drawn themselves… and worse; you begin to believe your team is lost.

And you become afraid.

You wonder, from base camp, if the novice Sherpa and his team made the summit. You kinda hope he makes it but you know in your heart there is no way he could have. And you think aloud, “I’ll come back and try again… I'm sure I will.”

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