Titanic offers lessons that we've generally ignored since then

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 15, 2012

ONE hundred years after the luxury liner Titanic slipped under the icy waters of the northern Atlantic, we remain as fixated by the disaster as the stunned survivors in lifeboats must have been.

A blockbuster 1997 motion picture was re-released in 3-D. Memorials are under way for the 1,500 who perished on April 15, 1912. Many of us would like to go back in time and warn the crew of the looming iceberg.

Lessons from the tragedy abound. As reported by The Oklahoman's Carla Hinton, pastor Lawrence Niesent of the Destiny Christian Center in Del City used the event for an Easter message to urge people to “live lives of purpose and meaning.”

Titanic also sends us warnings we have ignored since. Many were sold on the idea that the ship was “unsinkable.” Someone surely bought into that idea as the vessel had only half the lifeboats it needed. The complacency surrounding Titanic led to few, if any, asking the question “What if?”

Not every event and circumstance can be anticipated, but those in charge of life-and-death endeavors need to brainstorm before something happens.

In Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, it was probably thought President Kennedy was safe with a multitude of armed and trained law enforcement surrounding him. What could go wrong? After several successful launches in the 1980s, who in NASA thought about the effect of cold weather on an O-ring seal? It got a lot of attention after the Challenger shuttle exploded Jan. 28, 1986, killing seven crew members. Even more recently, we thought airline security wasn't all that bad on Sept. 10, 2001. The next day, we learned our system was designed to stop someone from hijacking a jet to Cuba — not preventing teams of suicide Jihadists with box cutters.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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