Pass it on

In book-sailor mode, I found the following – the first paragraph of the preface to Deep Sea Sailing, by Erroll Bruce:

In 1950 I enjoyed an exciting sailing race across the North Atlantic and was soon afterwards sent for by Lord Fraser of North Cape, then First Sea Lord at the Admiralty. He asked many questions about the handling of the yacht, and finished by saying, “What you have learnt of the sea in small craft is not your private property, so I trust you will pass it on to others.”

I warm to the phrase ‘pass it on to others.’

It stands back from ‘teach’ or ‘tell’ or ‘inform’. It somehow has less of the tinge of intention created by a modern trend that seeks to ‘improve’ everyone.

It says: “I have done such and such. This is what happened and this is what I learnt. You can pick it up and use it or you can leave it alone. Either way, our ideas meet for a short while and then move on.”

The importance is in the communication. The effect is up to the recipient.