Most of you will not recognize this tip o’ the hat, but Molly was a survivor on the Titanic, the ship of the damned. When she was on the lifeboat paddling away for her life, she made the crew go back and look for survivors.
She decided she would not be fucked by events of such gigantic proportions, that they were out of her control.
She decided that she would not allow the fear of her boat-mates, the “lucky ones”, to fuck the other survivors.
She decided to not to let the crew, fuck anyone else because of their hubris and stupidity.
She was a real tough cookie.
Why do I think of this? I was speaking to some students at a local community college and found myself in a strange, but telling conversation. It was an older gentlemen-student, a young female student and myself. We were discussing art and life, and the topic as it always does, moved onto the state of the world and how it’s going to hell in a hand basket.
What I found very interesting (and the point of this blog) is the similarities in viewpoints of the two, even though they had lived completely different lives. And then it dawned on me. They both believed that they had no control over their existence. They both believed that the world was watching and controlling them through technologies and that change was beyond them, ergo change was beyond all, but the chosen few. They both believed what others told them before they believed themselves. They each wanted to make things better, but had no idea of what to do.
They were frozen in the shadow of the future yet to be.
They even went so far as to quote Marshall McLuhan to me, “We drive into the future using only our rear view mirror,” as proof to me of agreement to their concept of the unchangeable world.
Well, first off let me re-quote Marshall, “I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.” This man knew a line of bullshit when he said one!
We cannot see into the future, I agree. But we can affect it.
We cannot change the whole world, but we can change our lives, which can in effect, change the world.
Back to Molly.
She couldn’t stop the ship from sinking, but she could go back and save someone’s life. Which inexorably changed that man’s world and the world of all those around him.
Back to Marshall.
We cannot know the future, but we can know our companions in the car riding there with us and we can decide together, when to turn the wheel. That is real control. We wrest the power from the ever-moving car and take it into our own hands and change directions. We talk and strive to learn to more about the company we keep in the car in order to make the drive into the unknown future better, more productive and enjoyable.
We create the future by allowing it to be fluid.
One more analogy: Cancer.
It begins as a single cell in a healthy organism which changes every cell next to it, until the healthy organism become sick and dies. But, what happens when the state of the organism is sick to begin with and that the mutations are of a healthy nature? The logic that follows, would now say that the mutated-now-healthy cell would affect each and every cell next to it, to be come healthy, thereby creating a healthy organism where there once was a sick one.
Be that cancer. That is your power.
Be Brave, in the face of uncertainty.
Be Thoughtful, even though it isn’t what people want you to think.
Be Ingenious, no matter if the task is mundane, because through ingenuity comes a form of enlightenment.
Be Genuine, even if the moment is fake, because honesty is infectious.
Become Un-Fuckable, like Molly, even as the unsinkable sinks.