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Thursday, April 19, 2012

How insignificant humans are!

Leonard Pitts, columnist for the Miami Herald, has written a splendid column about, of all things, the Titanic. Yes, the ship that sunk. There is a re-make of a movie about it, showing in theaters now.

His point? We thought the Titanic was unsinkable. Even God could not sink it, they said. We thought we had it made. But we were wrong, 100 years ago, and we'd better not get to feeling too proud now. Even the Titanic was just a dot in an enormous ocean, an ocean so much older than the Titanic that we can scarcely imagine it.

Pitts doesn't mention it, but the building of the tower of Babel comes to mind. According to the story in Genesis, the builders had far too much appreciation for their own ability. Disaster struck. Pitts doesn't mention climate change, either, but that's just one place that the next disaster we aren't prepared for may come from. Or it may come from our dependence on the all-too-vulnerable North American power grid, from the European (and US) debt crisis, from Iran or North Korea starting a nuclear war, from disease germs becoming resistant to antibiotics, or from any one of a number of things I haven't thought of, or, of course, from the Second Coming. But a disaster will come. And we won't be ready, no matter how smart and well off we think we are.

We are recently evolved (or created, or both) inhabitants of a small planet around an ordinary sun in an ordinary galaxy, a very small spot, in time and space, in the grand scheme of things, and we forget that at our peril.

Thanks for reading!

3 comments:

Weekend Fisher said...

You're right; as a species, we're pretty full of ourselves.

As a side-note, my favorite supposedly-true story out of the Titanic was of an 80+ year-old couple, married for many decades, told to separate so that "women and children first" and all that. After that many years together and probably just a few left, the reaction was basically "no, thanks". Last they were seen, they had pulled up a pair of deck chairs and were sitting together holding hands. That is one classy way to make an exit.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

FancyHorse said...

We are. Pride has been our downfall since the beginning, and it will continue to the end. Something to think about, and pray about!

I've just finished reading a Titanic book, A Rare Titanic Family, a true story about a family that survived intact: father, mother, and baby son.

Amazon link

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, ladies.

Yes, that's a great story, Anne.

There were some survivors, FancyHorse, and pride has, and continues to be, our downfall.