Following the Crowd

by Angela - on April 12, 2012

It’s hard to believe it’s been 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. Not that it happened in my lifetime, but still. Momentous events–when things so huge that they seem impossible to move, move (or fail, sink, are destroyed, etc)–never feel far away, even if they happened around the world or in another lifetime (that’s because time and space are so warp-y, unreliable and arbitrary and our thoughts and compassion are much more substantial and immediate).

I loved this article in the NY Times about a Times writer’s grandfather, Lawrence Beesley, who survived the sinking of the Titanic: As Hundreds of Men Perished, One Ignored a Rumor to Survive Of the many remarkable details that stands out to me is the stillness this gentleman had in the face of such terror; that despite the crowd that moved to the other side of the ship for a promise of rescue, he stayed put with just a couple of others. It reminds me of how often our greatest need is to be still and listen to the voice within instead of being carried by the ofttimes-unthinking wave of the masses.

This gentleman’s quiet listening was a life-saving approach and it makes me realize that the figurative sinking Titanics that we endure every day require the same resistance to group think. When the media demands that you must be frightened and outraged, be still and listen to your intuition instead that says, “I’m going to find out the truth for myself before I panic and judge.” When society insists that you must look a certain way to be loved, be still and listen to that voice within that says, “Does changing my skin color/weight/hair length, etc make me a more loving person?”

What “rumor [will you] ignore to survive” and thrive today?

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