Finger-Pointing vs. Self-Responsibility

After the Titanic hit the iceberg the Captain was notified that the boiler room was beginning to flood. He immediately issued orders for the crew to begin dismantling the upper decks and to throw them overboard. He said it would lighten the ship, increase its speed, and thus enable them to return safely to port.

But when passengers on the upper decks heard of his plan, they immediately rushed to the bridge and insisted that it was the decks below the waterline–especially the ones that were actually leaking–that should be discarded. After all, it was they, not the upper decks, which were causing the ship to sink.

By that time the passengers on the middle decks had become aware of what was going on, and began a heated discussion about which of the two plans was best. Those in cabins well above the waterline easily agreed with the idea of discarding the decks below. But those closer to the water naturally favored the Captain’s insistence on removing the upper decks instead.

In the meantime a few passengers (after looking out of their port holes, and noticing the increasing tilt of the ship) decided it might be best to put on life jackets, find a lifeboat, and row themselves back to land. Which is what they did. But by the time the argument raging on the bridge had concluded, and a decision reached, they had rowed too far away to see which decks, once removed, would best serve to righten (or leften) a sinking ship.

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Don’t have a life jacket? Don’t have a Lifeboat? Maybe the time has come to forget all the finger-pointing, and spend that time instead on learning how best to acquire…and use them! (Metaphorically speaking, of course. ;-)