I have just watched yet another news item about the “Titanic Tragedy” and frankly I have now gone beyond being bored to being angry. Over the last month there have been major dramas about Titanic, the release of the Titanic 3D film, commemorative books, magazines, mugs and even teddy bears! Almost every news bulletin has a piece about the ship’s sinking and you can’t open a newspaper without some special commemorative pull out feature falling into your lap. Enough already!
There is no doubt that Titanic’s sinking was a tragedy and it was much more likely to have been a tragedy if you were a male in third class. But really why this obsession? I know its a story of melodramatic tragedy with hints or heroism and stoicism but as a culture we have got this way out of proportion. On one level the obsession with Titanic doesn’t bother me, if people have the money to go on a cruise to the site of the sinking, I think its a bit weird but hey lots of stuff I do is a bit weird in other people’s eyes. What bothers me is that somewhere between 1500-1600 people died that day. (numbers can’t be certain because people were travelling as stowaways and others didn’t turn up) As I said what happened was a tragedy for them and their families but its 100 years later! Now I am coming to my rant ….. what makes my blood boil is that while our tv and written press have been obsessing about the Titanic tragedy which happened 100 years ago they have been totally silent on the the tragedy of Titanic proportion of our generation.
What is this tragedy of Titanic proportions? …. Here it is in the words of poverty.com
“About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds, as you can see on this display. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often. Yet there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem is that hungry people are trapped in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish themselves. Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick. This makes them increasingly less able to work, which then makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral often continues until death for them and their families.”
Did you get that? ……… 1 person every 3 and half seconds, about 25,000 people a day die because of a lack of food. Someone has died in the time it took you to read that.
NOW THAT IS A TITANIC TRAGEDY …. and unlike the sinking of a liner 100 years ago this is tragedy that is happening now, and we can do something about.
Why can’t we as a culture get obsessive about this daily Titanic tragedy of our generation?
Why can’t our news bulletins have feature after feature on the 25,000 people who needlessly died TODAY, and yesterday, and the day before?
Why can’t our news papers produce special features that tell us not about the scandal of too few lifeboats 100 years ago but people dying of hunger in a world with a food surplus?
Why can’t we care as much, if not more, about those who die preventable deaths in our generation?
So don’t buy Titanic memorial anything, instead give to some charity who will save someone from dying in our generation.
We spend to much time looking in the rear view mirror and we miss what I right in front of us.
I agree, the facination with the Titanic is over the top. But are you saying we should never buy anything frivolous, e.g., a cup of coffee, a movie ticket, and give all our money to the poor? It seems like a noble gesture. (does the author of the article give all he has to fight hunger? I wonder.)
If it would help I think many would, but the problem isn’t money (believe it or not, throwing money at everything doesn’t fix it). We’ve tried that. The problem is corrupt people who keep food and help getting to those in need. Time and time again help has been stopped by corrupt officials because of greed or lust for power. The problem is more within, rather than the morality of those on the outside.
Mmm …. Several points
” But are you saying we should never buy anything frivolous” …. No but I would certainly argue that £10 to Save the Children is better use of money than buying a Titanic Teddy Bear for all sorts of reasons
I don’t give all but I give what I can and I am comfortable with what I give and do. If I had the money for a Titanic cruise, that would not be what I would use my money for.
Money will not solve the problem in its entirety, there is a HUGE problem with corruption. However money is a major part of the solution and right now governments are cutting their international aid budgets and charitable giving is down. So now is a good time to give.
Secondly if we spent even half the money as an international community we do on weapons on famine relief, micro business development, providing clean water supplies and agricultural training we could make a major dent in the needless death toll poverty and hunger cause.
“The problem is more within , rather than the morality of those outside” ….. are you serious? Are you suggesting that to people in the two third worlds are morally responsible for their hunger and famine? Are you suggesting because powerful people are corrupt we should give up trying to help hungry people who are helpless and powerless …. need to disagree on that
What causes poverty in the two third worlds. …. Almost certainly bad and corrupt decisions by people there who have power. Another big factor is multinational companies who exploit workers and our financial institutions who saddle countries with such crippling rates of interest that they can never improve their nations only sink further into debt.
My big beef is apathy. Our media is so concerned about 1500 European/American people dying needlessly 100 years ago but is virtually silent on the thousands dying of hunger and preventable disease every day.
I suppose my concern is blaming everyone for not caring enough. There are so many people giving so much and can barely make a dent. By “the corruption within”, of course I didn’t mean those poor people caused their own suffering, I meant that the entire solution won’t come from those on the outside, which seems to be the implication. Somehow people, within and without, need to be changed as individuals (those in authority). How do you make individuals moral?
There was one radical who was consistently blamed for not changing politics, not giving to the poor enough, eating and drinking while everything around him was not as it should be. His insistence was that the world would be changed one soul a a time and one heart at a time. Otherwise, he would have come as someone in a seat of power (current seats of power are government and the media). He purposely came in obscurity to show that the real influence and change happens in obscurity. Does it take longer. Of course, but the change will be lasting.
” The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
I won’t see these as opposites.
If people are giving that great but the truth is that most people and the media in my culture have little bits of interest, especially if celebrities are involved, but mostly are apathetic about world poverty and hunger. My culture is addicted to celebrity and consumerism I would prefer it was a bit more interested in issues that affect the lives of the large section of humanity which can’t afford to live.
I think change comes at both an individual level and a societal level neither should be surrendered. I am inspired by the Victorian ” Clapham Sect” who funded and were committed to evangelism and foreign mission but also fought against slavery, poverty, child exploitation, appalling prison conditions and many more societal evils at a macro level. It’s both and not either or
I agree. They are not opposites. With one will come the other. It will be done in love 1cor13.
It’s just difficult for me to be angry at people who are doing what comes naturally. They don’t know what they’re doing.(and those that do, God will deal with them). I recognize the world is corrupt, it needs rescuing. I pray more souls be transformed. In the mean time, we who know, do what we can to alleviate suffering, (that suffering close to us; loneliness, misunderstanding, alienation, unforgiveness, along with physical needs), and suffering around the world.
Also we both know once physical suffering is taken care of, the metaphysical suffering is worse “man does not live by bread alone”. We all long to be reconnected with our creator, though most don’t know that is what we are longing for. It would be wonderful for the those media types to be brought in, wouldn’t it!?