When we are going through things that others have gone through, it can be extremely helpful to listen to what they know. That advise is important for everyone, everywhere, because if we don’t listen and heed those warnings, we might just find ourselves learning a very hard lesson…that hindsight is always 20/20.
On April 14th, 1912, SS Mesaba, a ship on the same route as RMS Titanic had traveled through waters with dangerous icebergs floating around just a few hours before Titanic was to be there. The Mesaba sent out a warning about icebergs to every ship in the area, including the Titanic. The message went out, and the crew of the Titanic received it, but the radio operator who received the message didn’t think it was important enough to deliver to the captain. This was probably because the Titanic’s radiomen were very busy. The passengers were sending and receiving messages with the mainland. It was a show of prestige. Even with the busy day, one would think that a message about an unusually high number of icebergs would have gone into the “high priority” pile, but of course hindsight is always 20/20. I’m sure that if John George Phillips, the Titanic’s senior wireless operator, had known then what he soon would know, he would have rushed the message to the captain immediately.
So many things would likely have been different, if people had only known what the future would bring. People wouldn’t have even been on the Titanic had they known. Then again, if the crew had known that an iceberg could do so much damage to an “unsinkable” ship, they would have listened when they were warned of very serious danger lurking in the waters ahead of them. They would have been crawling through the area, or they would have stopped for the night. They certainly wouldn’t have been pushing the ship to near maximum speed in an area of ocean that was filled with icebergs as dangerous as a floating mine or a torpedo. Unfortunately, hindsight is always 20/20, and the only reason we know the dangers now, is that the ship is at the bottom of the ocean, having succumbed to the very fate everyone was so sure could never happen to the great Titanic.
We can’t always know the dangers that lie ahead of us, but it is a wise man that pays attention to warnings of danger so that appropriate action can be taken. We can live with the saying, hindsight is always 20/20, or we can do our very best not to have to see that 20/20 hindsight with great regret.