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Awareness Magazine
5753-G Santa Ana Canyon Rd. #582
Anaheim, CA 92807
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Going Overboard

By Vaishali


Like most people I have seen hours and hours of programs examining various aspects of the fascinating, albeit brief journey, of the Titanic from inception to sinking. It never fails to amaze me how every now and then another detail surfaces to reveal yet another deeply personal dimension suffered by those on the ship or by those who lost a loved one.

The luxury liner required over 900 crewmembers to keep it in top form. Whether it was musicians, cooks, bartenders, chambermaids, or waiters, the Titanic needed this small army of laborers to meet the needs of 1,316 passengers. Only 215 crewmembers out of the 913 that started the voyage survived.

According to a recent History Channel program, the White Star Line, owner of the ill-fated vessel, sent something to 698 families who lost a father, sister, brother, daughter or son. Some families found it waiting when they returned home from a memorial service for their departed loved one, who died a traumatic death due to no fault of their own.

Are you curious to know what the White Star Line sent to these families? Take a deep breath. If you are not already sitting down you may want to stabilize yourself before reading further. The White Star Line sent a bill to all these families for reimbursement for the cost of the uniform “lost” when their loved one went down with the ship.

I find that unimaginable. But then again, this is the very same White Star Line that took no responsibility for the ship’s sinking. Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star Line, also on board the Titanic, found himself a seat on a lifeboat when over a thousand men, women and children perished that evening for lack of space on a lifeboat.

In a Congressional hearing held right after the sinking, Ismay placed the responsibility for what happened that night squarely on the shoulders of Captain Edward Smith, who did go down with his ship and was conveniently not present to defend his version of reality.

If Ismay had in any way influenced the command decisions made that night by instructing the Captain to maintain a dangerously high speed through an iceberg zone, then and only then, would the White Star Line have any responsibility for damages and lives lost.

With the same single-mindedness that put him on a life boat while mothers and children were left behind to be swallowed whole by the frigid North Atlantic, he swore at a hearing that the Captain alone made all the decisions on that infamous night, thus rendering himself and his company completely beyond the grasp of any legal accountability.

It is interesting to note that there was a first-class passenger who testified also that Ismay had told her, before the vessel was mortally wounded, that he knew the ship would be arriving hours before expected, because he had ordered the Captain to do whatever was necessary to expedite arrival.

In the end, the Congressional hearing absolved Ismay and the White Star Line of any legal liability. Although Ismay managed to dodge a financial and legal bullet, his unsinkable reputation for cowardice followed him until the day he died, leaving the indelible mark of a pariah.

What never ceases to amaze me is the ease with which some people side step their own conscience. It wasn’t enough that he cheated death when many lives on his ship were lost. It wasn’t enough that he greased himself up and slipped through the legal noose. He put all that behind him with record speed, looked around, and set his sights on how he could line his pockets with money from any salvageable source.

Considering just how fast the families of lost loved ones found themselves holding the bill, and the accompanying stiff, heartless slap in face, there must have been literally no time between absolution in the U.S. courts and an order to bill the surviving families for uniforms these condemned people had the bad taste to die in.

Next time you are watching the news or reading something on-line that leaves you shaking your head and picking up your jaw, unhinged by some head revolving, unbelievable information you have taken in, stop. Take a deep breath. And remind yourself that heartless, insensitive, consciousless acts have been around for as long as people have populated the planet.

The job of those who wish to leave this place in better condition than we found it is to have and remember an inner place of integrity; the core inside of those who love and value what is good and true will always be beyond the grasp of sinking ships, unjust legalities and the mean-spirited greed of those who are committed to using the Earth as their own private toilet by creating hell on Earth with their actions.

The love of doing what’s good and true is something that every major Spiritual tradition reminds us. This is what we take with us when we leave this life behind and graduate to the next level of awakened consciousness. The planet Earth classroom is where we practice realizing that alignment. This is where we practice choosing to honor a greater unconditional love of truth and what is just and right, as that is what gives our life meaning and deeper purpose.

The challenges we can’t fake it through, and the manner in which we respond to the tyrannical and life-diminishing challenges we face, is how we embody the beacon of Light we came here to be. In other words, these events are how we come to know that what is limited in nature is no match for the power and invincible resilience of our Soul. All the horrors we see here are the means by which our love for what is good and true excels, evolves and ultimately sets us free.

So the next time you find an unexpected bill in the mailbox, or you hear about some other unthinkable tragedy, remember that you came here to practice choosing love over fear; what is good and true over greed and cruelty. For that is the only authentically unsinkable ship ever created by Heaven and Earth.

Vaishali is the author of “Wisdom Rising” and “You Are What You Love.” She is also a national health and wellness speaker and radio host of “You Are What You Love,” heard weekly at www.purplev.com, Sundays at 11pm. PST worldwide, and on Contact Talk Radio, Fridays from 1pm to 2pm. PST. Vaishali learned to transform her life from the threat of two terminal disease diagnoses, domestic abuse and financial devastation. Join her at The Alive and Healthy Conference aboard The Queen Mary on March 22-24. www.purplev.com/alivehealthy