Okay, this may be a bit controversial. I know, big surprise. Here it goes. I was listening to the news yesterday in the car. It was reported the first lawsuit will be filed by the survivors of the Costa Concordia ship that sank off the coast of Italy on January 13th. Listening to the news, I was bombarded by thoughts.
First let me state, drowning is THE biggest fear I have in life. I cannot imagine being a passenger on a ship and having such a tragedy occur. Second, my heart aches for the families whose members are among the dead or the missing. Their pain is probably greater than any pain I have ever experienced. Third, I am confused by conflicting reports of what really did happen…whether it was captain error, nature’s error or carrying out orders of higher ups. I will not claim to be an expert or even well enough read on this disaster. I probably read as much, maybe a little less, than everyone else.
With that said, the news report I heard yesterday got me to thinking how we are a society who demands and wants perfection. Errors or mistakes are not tolerated. We have evolved into a sue-happy society. I get the protection of the law. Better yet, I support the protection of the law. However, some have taken it to the umpteenth degree and we have stood on the sidelines applauding them. Just last year at this time lawyers in California got together to test the meat quantity in Taco Bell’s products and then filed a lawsuit. Couldn’t that time and energy be spent elsewhere? I mean, I never really thought fast food would be my source for nutrition, but apparently some people did.
I think anti-discrimination laws must be met. I think equality for everyone is needed. I believe it in the deepest part of my bleeding heart. What I don’t get is the need to sue doctors, teachers, sport leagues and yes, even cruise ship lines. I believe in laws and in repercussions. I just don’t believe money is the answer to both or either.
Declan Sullivan was the young man from Notre Dame who died while filming Notre Dame football practice as he stood on top of an unstable platform in the midst of a wind storm. The parents of Sullivan decided not to sue stating it served no good person other than to add to everyone’s grief – – theirs and the schools. I think Sullivan realized sometimes, tragedy happens and no amount of money will stop it or bring back the victims. As hard as it is to swallow, I think the Sullivans are correct.
So, while I can imagine the pain the survivors are going through with the Costa Concordia tragedy and I will not pass judgment on their reactions, I do think we, as a society, have to figure out how far we will go to obtain perfection. Some flaws hurt and we should learn from our flaws, our errors, not be rewarded monetarily from them.