Thursday, May 10, 2012


By Julie Rahm

At the tender age of seventeen, Edward Smith joined his half-brother who was the captain of the sailing ship Senator Weber.  Later Smith joined the White Star Line as the Fourth Officer of the SS Celtic. Smith served on the White Star ocean liners to Australia and New York City. He served with distinction and earned his first command, at age 37, on the ocean liner Republic. Later, Smith served in the Boer War as the captain of the Majestic. The Majestic was called into action transporting troops to South Africa where Smith earned the “Transport Medal” awarded by King Edward VII. Interestingly, the ocean liners that Smith commanded were able to fly the special Blue Ensign flag since Captain Smith was a member of the Royal Naval Reserve.
As Captain Smith gained seniority, his reputation grew. He was known as the “Millionaires’ Captain” because the English wealthy usually chose to sail only on the ships he commanded. Smith was the world’s most experienced sea captain. He always commanded the White Star Line’s newest ships on their maiden voyages. Captain Smith commanded the maiden voyages of the Baltic, Adriatic and Olympic. And, of course, his last maiden voyage was on the ocean liner Titanic. Now you know!
Edward Smith was 62 years old when he perished along with 1,502 others. He had 45 years of experience at sea, roughly 73-percent of his life. When the Titanic sunk in April 1912, there was no better sea captain in the world than Captain Edward Smith. The Titanic hit an iceberg and sank with total disregard for the experience of her captain. So, what is my point?
My point is the Titanic did not know or care who was in command. The ship did not have any inherent respect for her Captain. It did not matter to the ship who was in command. The ship had no deference for Captain Smith’s experience.
Likewise, the inanimate objects in your life have no respect for you. Your car, lawnmower, motorcycle or boat has no deference for you! Ownership or command of an object does not lessen the potential for an accident. Making car payments will not gain you any respect from your car. Your car does not care that you are the one making the payments. Run a red light and you risk an accident just the same. And, even though your motorcycle or boat might be your prized possession, they do not feel the same way about you. Your possessions do not care and will injure you just the same, quickly and without prejudice. There is no reciprocity in your relationship with your prized possessions.
So, with summer approaching, my mindset message this week is “be care-full” this season. Be mindful of the consequences of carelessness. Practice a measure of personal risk reduction and accept no unnecessary risk. Furthermore, multitasking is a myth. Be focused and present when accomplishing your tasks. Are you still curious? Visit my website at

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