header photo

Project Vision 21

Transforming lives, renewing minds, cocreating the future

Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.

The Titanic sank by “strictly” following the rules. So, what rules are sinking your life?

According to a book recently published by investigative journalist Senan Molony, one of the reasons that led to the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, was that the crew in charge of the ship “strictly followed the naval protocol.” In other words, if, instead of being so strict, they had been creative, 1500 lives would have been saved.

More specifically, according to Molony in his book Titanic: Why She Collided, Why She Sank and Why She Should Have Never Sailed, the decision to turn the boat to the right to avoid colliding with the famous iceberg caused the tragedy. That decision was made because, according to rules established in the 1850’s, that was the maneuver that the ships had to perform.

That this rule had been established to avoid frontal collisions between ships sailing in opposite directions, not to avoid collisions with icebergs. However, although the rule in question didn’t apply to the situation they faced, the crew of the Titanic decided to follow it, because that was what “the book” established, with tragic results.

Obviously, that was not the only cause of the sinking of the Titanic, as Molony says and explains. Another factor that contributed to the unexpected outcome includes the fact that Officer Joseph Boxhall, in charge of spotting the dangerous icebergs, was in his cabin instead of actively spotting icebergs.

And since its departure from Belfast five days before the sinking, a fire had broken out in the Titanic's cargo hold. The fire was never controlled and eventually it weakened the ship's hull, precisely where it was later irreparably damaged by the iceberg.

Of the many lessons that the Titanic still teaches us today, one of those lessons, in the form of an inevitable question, is this: What book (creed, doctrine, ideology, teaching), written decades or centuries ago, are you following in your life to make “correct" decisions” that slowly and inexorably lead you to the collapse and sinking of your life?

As in the case of the Titanic, time and again I have seen people trying to solve the new challenges of the present with the ideas of the past, as if it were possible to pour new wine in old wineskins, as someone once said.

When those people "sink" (financially, emotionally, and even existentially), it’s usually too late to discover that they believed more in their own beliefs than in what reality was showing to them. 

Another question: who should be at the command post of your life, sighting the dangers to be avoided, but that, instead of doing so, he/she is comfortably resting in his/her cabin? Maybe that “who” is your partner, your teacher, your parents, or someone important in your life. But in most cases, that “who” is yourself.

Finally, what internal fire is consuming you that, as with the Titanic, weakens you so much that a clash with life that shouldn’t have affected you now sinks you? Maybe it's time to take our lives more seriously than our believes. 


Go Back