The great ship “Earth,” it has been reported, has hit an iceberg.
Don’t be alarmed, this ship is extremely well designed, a marvel of engineering, and piloted by a talented crew.
The reports grow more and more worrisome. A huge gash, taking on water, not enough lifeboats, no rescue ships in the area. Arguments break out among those in charge. Don’t upset the passengers by suggesting they put on life jackets.
Of a sudden, the beautiful starlit night on the ocean becomes cold, barren and malevolent.
Observe the variety of responses by the passengers and crew as the reality of their doom invades their consciousness.
Those who had a role in the ship’s design or control have much invested in their professional reputations and they cannot not offer any meaningful advice lest it reveal their earlier hubris.
Those with valuable possessions try to take them with them even though, thus encumbered, they are unable to flee.
Abandoned children scream in terror and parents rush to provide comfort.
The orchestra bands together to play beautiful music in the hope it would instill calm.
Many of the crew stay at their posts knowing it will gain time for those trying to escape.
We have some choice in how we will comport ourselves when the mighty ship “Earth” swallows up all of the human edifice.
Without judgement, we can accept the many ways others will react to this crisis.
With judgement, we can employ our highest nature to supply warmth and succour to our neighbors.
If these be our last acts as a species, let them be our finest.