|Putting a Century in Perspective
||[Apr. 14th, 2012|04:49 pm]
I can't believe the colossal fuck up I almost committed today.
I had no reminders on my calendar, no notes to myself. I've known for quite some time that I wanted to say a few words to mark the occasion, and yet, because I had my head stuck up my ass, I almost missed it.
This isn't something you can mulligan, unless you're Superman and can reverse time by reversing the rotation of the planet.
Today, of course, is the centennial anniversary of the sinking of R.M.S. Titanic.
Ever since I first heard the story, I've been fascinated despite the fact that I never got around to studying the event in great detail. I don't have all of the facts about the ship, her crew or her passengers memorized.
Perhaps my biggest claim to fame with the ship was when I was on a mission trip in Guatemala. For three days in a row, we took a 45 minute boat ride across the bay to get to a remote area that needed our help. I let it slip I was interested in the ship and I wanted to rebuild it and set it on the same course one hundred years to date. I even thought that we could pause right over the position of the berg and have a moment of silence, perhaps by cutting all power.
The night before we were all supposed to fly out, someone had the bright idea of coming up with ways to remember people on the trip. That was one of the things that was mentioned when they came to my name.
But I haven't made my millions yet, hence the reason why you're reading these words here and not hearing my words marking the occasion from me aboard T.A.G. Titanic. As much as I would like to talk about the ship and the event, that's not what I've come here to pontificate about.
No, I'm here to discuss something that I don't think will be discussed much today. I want to talk about the unit of time known as a century.
In the century since the sinking of the Titanic, the planet has seen two World Wars. Mankind went to space and even the moon. Computers were invented and now we have more methods to communicate immediately across the globe so that another Titanic-like accident could never occur with such casualties.
Mankind has devised a method that will get him from London to New York City in just over three hours. The recording industry has come to fruition as has the engaging motion picture. People can move about more freely and more readily; the quality of life has risen asymptotically.
I can't imagine someone reading my words today not knowing about the story of Titanic; as such, I think that it's an event that can help give perspective on just how long a century is and what can be accomplished in one.
I feel like I'm just not getting my point across and maybe it only makes sense to those who grew up with the story of Titanic who have spent time studying the event, so I'll offer a reasonable approximation: James May's 20th Century.
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