Metaphor Teaching Story
Raise The Titanic?
by Silvia Hartmann
I was sick last weekend.
I found myself lying on the couch and being unable to change the TV
channel, drifting in and out of consciousness and in quite a bit of
pain, not thinking much.
The channel played on, uninterrupted, and so it came to pass that I lay
through "Raise The Titanic".
I haven't seen that movie which brought down a major film studio at the
time and bankrupted its owners and investors with its costs and lack of
takings at the box office since it was first released many decades ago,
and I didn't really see it this time either, I just drifted through it.
And at some point, I became annoyed with the story line.
This is how it was if you don't know.
They don't really WANT to raise the Titanic at all!
These guys want to build a special nuclear reactor, which works by using
this INCREDIBLY rare element called Byzanthium. There's only one mine in
the whole world but it's a very powerful thing, which, if you could use
it in a nuclear reactor, would give a significant advantage over the
enemy of the time.
So, anyway, off they go to get their Byzanthium for the reactor, only to
find that the mine is completely empty and all the Byzanthium in the
world has been mined in 1910 and shipped off - via the Titanic!
That's why they decide to firstly:
1. Find the Titanic, and
2. Raise the Titanic, in order to
3. Recover the Byzanthium.
As this insanity went along, I was lying there, thinking, "FOR GOD'S
SAKE! What are you doing! You are just going from one problem to the
next, and it's getting ever more insane, ever more insurmountable, ever
more expensive - and FOR WHAT?"
But they'd mostly forgotten about WHY this whole started in the first
place, or what the WHOLE POINT behind that ever more uncontrollable,
bizarre operation had been way back then ...
... namely to get Byzanthium for that reactor ...
If you go back to THAT, we might want to ask ourselves, "Is that reactor
really necessary?! Is that the only way to protect ourselves from the
enemy?! Is there not some OTHER WAY in which that original OBJECTIVE,
namely being safe from the enemy, could be accomplished, right now, and
in such a way that:
1. It would cost less (much, MUCH less!!)
2. It would actually be DOABLE (!!)
3. Would be something we can do RIGHT NOW, and EASILY?
Well, as soon as you ask this question, you can see how the Titanic
people had gone down a long and winding road of ever increasing
difficulty, cost, loss of life and plain insanity that was getting them
EVER FURTHER AWAY FROM THE ORIGINAL OBJECTIVE!
The problems they were struggling with (like how to not implode
underneath 2 1/2 MILES of ice cold water!) and which were consuming all
their time, effort, energy and RESOURCES had NOTHING LEFT TO DO with the
original problem at all.
They were most literally now trying to raise the Titanic in its widest
If you find yourself involved in a project that seems to have gone on
forever, seems to have been beset with nothing but difficulties, seems
to have gotten worse and worse as you went along, AND you can't actually
remember anymore as to WHY you ever got involved with that in the first
place, there may well be such a process in action.
And there can be some real merit to STOP for a moment, and NOT to chuck
ever more resources of time, money, energy, intelligence and LIFE down
that 2 1/2 mile deep abyss in which YOUR Titanic lies.
Why this project?
Where did it come from?
What was that all about when first it started?
Can you remember WHAT that was supposed to GIVE YOU back then, way back
And most of all, can you NOW think of a BETTER WAY to achieve that self
same objective that set you off on the torturous path you find yourself
on right now and that in truth seems never ending as it simply goes from
one problem to the next?
If you can see how that happened, and if you have the courage for this,
you can then decide to leave the Titanic alone and just get yourself a
better defence grid - without the need for any Byzanthium reactors that
haven't even been built yet, and even if they were, they'd soon enough
run out, because whatever there is in the holds of the Titanic, that's
all there ever was in the whole wide World!
Oh, and by the way.
When they *did* finally raise the Titanic, the boxes were filled with
NOTHING BUT STONES, after all they went through.
Is THAT a metaphor?!
Good luck in all you do, and fair sailing :-)