It had been a while since I last picked up the Little Golden Books classic, Scuffy the Tugboat. As soon as I saw the artwork, I instantly remembered that I'd studied this book intensely when I was just a wee lad with less years under my belt than most humans can count on one hand. I'm grown up now, and grown-ups don't read kid books, right? They're just not suitable for adults to read, so they say.
Scuffy was a red-painted tugboat who found himself suddenly liberated from the drudgery of the local toy store, thanks to the Man With The Polka Dot Tie, who took Scuffy home for his son to enjoy. Much to their dismay, when they plopped Scuffy in the bathtub, the proud little tugboat smugly quipped, "A tub is no place for a red-painted tugboat. I was meant for bigger and better things."
With that in mind, the Man With The Polka Dot Tie took Scuffy to a meandering brook high in the hills, and set him asail. For Scuffy, this was the ultimate liberation, so much so that he followed the brook through all its twists and turns, until eventually getting tossed out to sea, where he realizes his intrepidness was false, and that maybe he was meant for the mundane!
Ultimately, this is a story about contentment, overconfidence and ambition. Sometimes we complain about our jobs. Do we fancy ourselves "meant for bigger and better things?" Surely some do, and there is no harm in that, but when we refuse the lowly tasks because of this idea that we were meant for better, we've got problems (cf. the CEO who refuses to touch the trash).
The irony is finding this lesson in a book that many of us would consider ourselves too smart, too old or too sophisticated to read.