Hitting the iceberg not alone

It is April 1912. You've just learned that, a few days ago, the famous RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage to New York has sunk with the loss of 1,502 lives (the exact count will not be known for some weeks.)

The 'unsinkable' has sunk after scraping the side of an iceberg. Only 722 of those on board have survived.

So, after the initial shock what is your reaction? Compassion - sorrow for the dead and their friends and families? Joy, that some have been saved? Anger against the makers and/or the crew of the ship? Disinterest? Dull fatalism? Fear for oneself ('there go I but for the grace of God')? Satisfaction, even that  happiness of the schadenfreude kind? Some of all of the above?

Now imagine that you happen to be (a) a close relative of a deceased (b) ditto of a survivor (c) ditto of the ship's captain (d) ditto of a Belfast welder (e) ditto of the ship's designer (f) a newspaper baron, (g) a practicing Christian. What kind of reaction now, to the news?


September 29th, 2012: a few days ago we hit an iceberg. (Dee not me) Cancer is indeed an iceberg. But we are still afloat and will do all we can to stay that way. And I missed out the key reaction from my above list: Kindness. The kindness of others that enwraps you within a kind of protective cloak; that so importantly tells you simply this - you are not alone.

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