When Zeus Triumphed
By: Grazyna Witkowska Date: 24rd June 2020
I wonder whether you watched this documentary on SBS about the Titanic… It demonstrated that there was a fire onboard the ship which was noticed even before the ship left its original port of Belfast. As the full story of what happened to the Titanic unfolded we learned that the proprietors, White Star Line, did the following: (1) instructed that the ship be built with cheap, substandard materials to save money; (2) knew about the fire raging in the ship’s coal storage/ boiler room area but allowed the journey to go ahead; (3) covered up the visible damage done by the fire camouflaging it with paint and grease; (4) continued the journey with the fire out of control; (5) knew that the fire and the weak materials contributed significantly to the disaster but concealed this knowledge; and (6) after the disaster, attempted to cover up their guilt by falsely declaring that no one from the crew who was in the boiler room (and thus aware of the fire and the related damage) survived when, in fact, some of them did survive.
The company was in a financial difficulty and they wanted to secure their hegemony over the North Atlantic routes. They gambled the lives of their passengers and the crew hoping that with a bit of smoke and mirrors they will become the biggest and the richest.
The smoke dissipated into the cold Atlantic air and the mirrors crumbled when Nature decided to break through the cover of the deceit.
I suspect, these people did what they did because losing their own money seemed much more horrific than losing someone else’s lives. And they did know it was reprehensible. I say that, because if what they allowed to happen was acceptable they would not need to publicly insist that no people who worked in the boiler room survived.
And I wonder whether you noticed the poignancy of the name Titanic? Greek mythology tells us that Titans were defeated by the Olympian gods. So, Titanic could not survive when Zeus sensed that his time to rule approached. And when it did, a mere lump of ice (mere for Zeus that is) would usher in an era of new gods, those of Olympus.
Times do change. As I watch protests against racism, protests against animal cruelty, protests against…. I sensed that we are no longer willing to accept the smoke and mirrors illusions.
But how do we live to honour ourselves, our fellow people, our animals, our planet?
It is not enough to oppose to what we don’t like. We can be as courageous as the Spartans at the Thermopylae and still not win. Such courage may be required at first to expose the errors of the past that became ingrained in our worldviews. But once we define the space between the opposites we will need a vision for the future that is neither black nor the opposite of black. Not a compromise but a new vision, new way of seeing, a new paradigm. Black and white action will only make us swing between two extremes alienating rather than uniting.
I don’t have personal experience with singlehandedly shifting paradigms. But I do have experience in finding ‘outside of the box’ solutions. And I have experience in designing space that supports others in creating ‘outside of the box’.
Everyone has experienced times when they found innovative outcomes, but it doesn’t happen every day (well, at least not for all of us). Imagine, however if this happened more often to more of us! That’s right! We would be creating our future from the ‘best versions of ourselves’.
And I know it is possible.
In my professional experience, the environment that leads to such breakthrough solutions combines: (1) belief that we can; (2) intuition enhancing techniques such as hypnosis; (3) structured processes such as business analysis, or scenario planning; and (4) focus boosting energy treatment such as kinesiology.
You might have used different resources to place yourself in a space that allowed you to think outside the box. If so then why won’t you share these with us so we all can become better and better at creating solutions. Solutions that nurture us all, both human and other-than-human.
How will we choose? What will we prioritise? How will we construct our ship?
How will you choose? What will you prioritise?
Will it be a safe passage?
Or will it be a titanic disaster when thundering Zeus exposes new ‘smoke and mirrors’ shortcuts?