[Essay Topic- 3 Mains 2020] Ships do not sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them.


A ship, designed to navigate vast oceans, encapsulates human engineering prowess. Yet, its strength isn’t tested by the external waters it traverses, but by the water it allows inside. The adage “Ships do not sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them” provides a profound metaphor for life, resilience, and personal boundaries.

Thesis Statement

While external challenges and adversities are inevitable, it’s our internal responses and the burdens we internalize that determine our stability, strength, and ultimate fate.

Crux/Meaning of the Essay

This essay delves into the idea that while we exist in a world replete with challenges, our reactions, internalizations, and personal boundaries play a pivotal role in determining our ability to navigate these challenges successfully.

Different Dimensions

Personal Boundaries: Just as a ship maintains its integrity by preventing water ingress, individuals need to establish and maintain personal boundaries to safeguard their mental and emotional well-being.

Inner Resilience: While the external environment might be tumultuous, cultivating inner resilience ensures that external adversities don’t infiltrate and destabilize our core.

Perception and Interpretation: Challenges, criticisms, and adversities are external entities. The manner in which we perceive, interpret, and internalize them determines their impact on our lives.

Different Perspectives

The Psychologist’s View: They would emphasize the importance of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and coping mechanisms in determining how we handle external pressures.

The Life Coach’s Perspective: Emphasizing proactive strategies, they might focus on tools, techniques, and mindsets that prevent negative external influences from penetrating our inner sanctum.

The Philosopher’s Lens: Philosophers might reflect on the existential nature of challenges, the essence of human experience, and the importance of inner equilibrium in the face of life’s vicissitudes.

Significance in Current Context

In an era marked by rapid change, digital overload, and societal pressures, the metaphor of the ship becomes even more relevant. In the vast ocean of information, opinions, and challenges, maintaining one’s equilibrium and integrity is paramount.


Life’s adversities, much like the water around a ship, are omnipresent. However, our fate—be it buoyancy or descent—hinges not on these external factors, but on what we allow inside. Cultivating awareness, resilience, and strong personal boundaries is akin to keeping the ship watertight, ensuring that regardless of the external storms, the vessel remains unsinkable and steadfast in its journey.

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