Setting Your Life To Sail ― Why I Have A Crush On Pope John’s Motto!


Somewhere in 2003, I entered the best school in GH as a freshman. Well, if you doubt we are the best, you can go argue it out in your homes. Haha. Of the many things that caught my attention, one that stood out was the phrase “Vela Damus”. It was reechoed at assembly every morning all through my stay there… and it continues to ring in my ears even until today.

Vela Damus!

“Vela Damus” means “We set sail”. Each morning, one question that rears its head in my mind is, “Has your life been set sail?” Our lives are like inertia. Until we give it a push, it will continue to be at rest or move automatically as it has been moving. Forgive me for bullying you with my scanty knowledge of Physics. Haha.

You see, our lives are like ships. Thing is, if you don’t set it sail, it can’t set sail on its own!

When a ship is about to set sail, it needs to overcome a lot of resistance. Life is no playground. It is no child’s play. If you want to get anything done and done well, of course, you should be prepared to resist the resistance. Nothing great comes on a silver platter.

It’s okay to dream. In fact, dreaming is free. Getting that dream, however, to become a reality is not. Getting your dreams served on the table of life comes with a price tag; an expensive one, of course. This expensive price tag is what separates daydreamers from dream doers!

“Vela Damus” is more than a mere motto. It is a mantra. It is a charge to everyone to take their today into their hands and mould it into the future they want it to be. It is an admonition to whip up the sense of ambition in us to keep our dreams going despite the storms of life. Like a ship, our lives must stay afloat regardless of the raging tides.

The storms of life won’t ever get any less harsh. If you are waiting for the tides to subside for you to swim in life’s opportunities, you might as well wait forever. If you’re waiting for an opportune time to take opportunities, you may be disappointed because there’s no such time as opportune!

Put your life together and set it sail as soon as you can. Set your ideas sail. Set your business sail. You may not have enough but start with your little. It will grow. No big business today ever began big. Every mansion was once only a foundation. Start setting your life sail now!

I have a big crush on “Vela Damus” because it reminds me of the unfriendly storms of life’s high seas. However, no matter how fierce the resistance may be, I should set my life sail by all means because “We set sail”!

“Vela Damus” cautions me of the risks of dreaming big. It reminds me that a ship needs to set sail against the wind first before it navigates its way through. I need the “against wind” to find my feet in life. I need the resistance to build my endurance!

There’s no time. Start something regardless of how small it may look. If you fail, learn your lessons and start again. If you fail again, start again. At all cost, set your life sail. Vela Damus!

By: Kobina Ansah

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications.

His play TRIBELESS is on Sept. 16/17 at the Drama Studio, Legon.



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