About 3 weeks ago I watched the movie, Titanic. I hadn’t watched it in years but for some reason I was drawn to it and watched it from beginning to end (a considerable time investment since it was on network television and included what seemed like a hundred commercial breaks). I had forgotten how good it was—not just the special effects-but how well the movie captured the different societal classes and how meaningless and ridiculous all of that seemed as the ship was going down. Death didn’t discriminate even if you were wearing your best tuxedo or most expensive fur.
What struck me most was how the band kept playing during all the chaos as a way to maintain some sense of normalcy. The next day I decided to look for books about the Titanic. The one that kept coming up in my search is called A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. It was written in 1955 and still remains one of the top-rated accounts of that fateful night. Not only does the book give a minute-by-minute account of what transpired, but Walter Lord included the memories and quotes of 60 of the survivors. He provides diagrams of the ship, a time table of the most notable events, and finally a list of all the passengers, noting in italics which ones were saved that day. I read through name after name…not in italics and it was chilling.
The class divisions shown in the movie were not exaggerated. This point was driven home when Mr. Lord reported that there were more first-class male passengers saved than there were children in third-class. So much for women and children first. Walter Lord goes on to say, “it was a contrast which would never get by the social consciousness (or news sense) of today’s press.”1 Truly heart-breaking. Then there were the members of the band, who played until the last moment, putting the feelings and safety of everyone else ahead of their own. I can’t even imagine what was going through their heads during this ordeal, knowing that they would most likely not make it. It was a selfless gift they gave and they paid the ultimate price.
There is a famous quote from Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Helpers come in all different forms. In the early morning hours of April 15th, 1912, they came in the form of 8 band members. Currently we’re living in uncertain times and the world could use more helpers. It might seem impossible to help from our homes but there are things we can do.
For all you coaches, healers, podcast hosts—hold space for people who need it. Spread positive content. We’re not saying to be a Pollyanna and pretend that nothing is happening, but we have the choice to focus on the positive or the negative. THAT IS POWERFUL. Take care of yourself. Stay grounded and do what you can to up your vibration. Connect with people virtually. Research has shown over and over the power of people getting together for a common cause. There are all kinds of group mediations, support circles, etc. happening on social media right now. Take advantage of these or host your own.
We are all in this together. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do for a living, your political leaning—none of that matters. This WILL pass and when it does, you can look back and know that you did your best—even if that simply meant keeping yourself calm. The Earth will continue to spin and the band will play on.