Are We on the Ship of Theseus? 

The legend goes like this: after the Greek hero Theseus slayed the minotaur and saved a bunch of people, he escaped on a ship. Later, to honor him, the people of Athens would take the ship out each year and sail it on a pilgrimage. 

As time passed, the people had to replace an odd plank here and there. The boards of the ship would decay or break, as boards do. It’s basic maintenance. 

But a question emerged. After generations, the ship reached a point where none of its pieces were “original,” so to speak. So… was it still the same ship? 

This is mostly a philosophical question, but it offers an interesting puzzle about the nature of things in our everyday lives. This enterprise comes to mind. When I, Mark, started Leibman Financial Services at my kitchen table in 1996, there was no telling that the business would become what it is today. 

And yet, we haven’t changed anything fundamental about what we’re doing here. I set out to build something that would let me try to help people grow their buckets. I operated with the understanding that when others are better off, I probably will be too. 

Those things still stand, today. The ship is still a ship. 

But my life looks radically different from when I first set foot on this ship. Two of my co-owners were still children at home with me. (And we wouldn’t even meet our other co-owner for another decade and a half!) 

In what ways do things change—and how do they stay the same—as they grow? The ship remains, but it is not the same. 

This type of conversation might sound familiar. We’ve enjoyed talking about similar ideas before, like how things have the potential to become greater than the sum of their parts, how “teamwork makes the dream work,” and how we never step in the same river twice. 

No matter how you think about it, it can be amazing, this whole “life” thing. It’s a privilege to be here, building something with you. 

Come by to chat about this or anything else, any time. 

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