Further Lessons Learned From Titanic

Gram’s Wisdom 4

You may recall the post I did a year ago Lessons I Learned From Titanic if not check it out. The reason I have for revisiting this is that there were additional lessons I had learned from Titanic that I wanted to share. It seems only right that as it was Gram taking the 5 year old Joyce to see “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” thereby setting my feet on the path of all things Titanic, that these lessons be included in a Gram’s Wisdom post.

So, on this 107th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, in no order, and because they are still relevant today, are more lessons I learned from Titanic.

Titanic Museum Belfast, Ireland

Titanic Museum Belfast, Ireland


Share your gifts

You owe it to yourself to share your talent, your skill, or whatever unique gift that you possess with others. When you do it’s a win-win for everyone. What you create be it art, a welcoming home, or handcrafted goods from your garage serves not only to enrich your own life but the lives of those who have heard about or seen what it is you have created. Now the real magic of this is in the ripple effect of those whom you touched with your gift. These people seeing your example, feel themselves empowered to share with others their own special gifts.

The Band on Titanic shared their talent with their fellow passengers throughout the voyage. Their gift provided a sense of calm on a night when it was sorely needed. Though their last tune is still disputed by all accounts it’s agreed that they played until the very end.


Go above and beyond

Going above is taking that extra step whatever it might be. Yet, a lot of people will only do so if it’s easy or convenient to do at the time, or if they can’t say no and feel guilted into doing it for some reason. While to go beyond is to do the thing no one else does or wants to do except on rare occasions or in times of dire emergency, because they are usually dirty, ugly, or frightening to perform.

The stokers, and engineering crew of Titanic remained at their posts keeping the electricity so vital to the pumps, the elevators, the lights, and the all-important telegraph working as long as possible. Their selfless sacrifice allowed more passengers to safely depart the ship than would have otherwise been possible.



While Titanic carried what was considered a microcosm of western society on her maiden voyage there wasn’t the kind of structure that we would recognize as being community. Instead community at this time still meant those who lived near you, where you received your education, your class of people, your religious affiliation, and the kind of work you performed. So little interaction between people not part of “your” community took place.

Much would begin to change this night when mostly women and children from all walks of life would climb into lifeboats together with just one thought in mind, survival. The dissolution of class and clique over the next few years may have come as a surprise to many people. Though not to these survivors who had shared a sense of community for ten cold wet hours with others who would forever have more in common with them than anyone else.


Never stop innovating

Life isn’t meant to be set in stone with one set of perfect plans that leave you no room to alter or change your course. We don’t live in a vacuum that allows for that. Instead every choice made, every right or left turn, carries you nearer to or farther from your plan. But whether your plan is for what you do or who you are, there is always room for improvement. This doesn’t mean you should be in a constant chase for perfection which is exhausting and impossible. Yet, sit on your laurels, after doing something once and see how quickly your ideas become old hat and you become redundant as you fall behind the pack that is innovating.

Thomas Andrews, Titanic’s architect knew this as well as anyone. The tweaks to Olympic became reality on her sister ship Titanic. So, just as he had previously, he now set sail on Titanic’s maiden voyage to make any additional changes or refinements that he felt would be an improvement to her design, function, and comfort.


My book recommendation this year is Titanic and Her Sisters Olympic and Britannic. The authors are Tom McCluskie, Michael Sharpe, and Leo Marriott. It is a coffee table book with photos on every page and enough information about the three ships to make anyone who reads it feel knowledgeable about the construction and careers of the ships.


Please share this post with your crazy Titanic loving friends.