I understand the wisdom behind the expression to “stay the course,” but I also think there are times when the expression can prove disastrous. Of course, what is meant by staying the course is to keep on keeping on, or to keep trying until things work out the way they are supposed to.
Anyone who has tried to steer a sailboat can tell you that the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but the quickest amount of time to get there isn’t always moving in a straight line. If our destination takes us into a headwind, then trying to move forward against the wind would be impossible until the wind were to change direction and blow directly behind us instead of against us.
In order for a sailor to get where they want to go, they often have to move left or right of their target, and make corrections along the way. If a sailor were to blindly look at his course without regard to the effects of the wind, he could easily miss his destination and might even run his ship aground. Instead of blind obedience to the law that says the shortest distance is a straight line, the sailor knows to consider all variables and to make course corrections as needed.
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