There are two contrasting scenes in the 1997 movie, Titanic, that still haunt me.
The first scene is set in the lavish dining room, which conveys a sense of abundance. The soft, warm lighting casts a golden hue. Guests are dressed in their finest. Everyone exudes a friendly demeanour, politely deferring to one another as they engage in congenial conversation.
The second scene is set on the ship’s deck, just as the ship is starting to descend into the glacial water. This scene is dark and threatening.
There is utter pandemonium. The crew is struggling to establish order, load the guests into the lifeboats, and evacuate the sinking ship. It is evident that they are totally unprepared for this unforeseen disaster.
Under pressure, cracks begin to appear in the golden veneer. And as the crisis intensifies, each character’s true nature begins to emerge.
One of the main actors, who was charming in the dining room scene, now morphs and becomes aggressive and selfish. He shoves his way through the crowds streaming towards the lifeboats. In the crush of people, he grabs a young child to ensure he can get into the lifeboats reserved for the women and children.
Yet, we also see there are those who bravely rise up in the darkness and turmoil. Heroes who risked their own safety, as they courageously helped others into the lifeboats and off the ship.
Recently, we have witnessed similar scenes being played out in the news. In a number of recent natural disasters and violent events from around the world we are seeing echoes of the dark scene on the Titanic’s deck.
Where life is shattered by an unexpected event. A crisis looms. Survival is suddenly arbitrary and random. And scarcity now exists.
And just like in the movie, we observe that while it is easy for most to be generous and kind in safety and abundance, the moment we are confronted by threats and scarcity, we become challenged. And in these storms, our true selves and deepest heart truths emerge.
It has been heartbreaking to watch these various world events unfold. And my heart aches at the darkness that has been displayed.
But there are also moments where I weep at the beauty of the human spirit. To see human hearts that rise. Bravely. Selflessly. Generously. Reaching out through the darkness, to rescue others.
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