Do you have the impression that nearby things are changing excessively light?
Do you have the feeling that things around you are changing too fast? Do you fear that your stability will be lost overnight? The philosopher Zygmunt Bauman gave this perception its name and explained it very aptly ...
Titanic syndrome does not describe any psychological condition or disorder . It is just a feeling, a feeling that has come over us more and more frequently in recent years (and even months). It is like witnessing the collapse of an era, like witnessing the fragmentation of a certain time that seems to be sinking, little by little, but in anguishing way.
There are those who point out that a large part of the population begins to look to the future with a certain uneasiness. We do not trust that what tomorrow can bring us will be better than what we have now . Almost without knowing how our innocence has vanished, the books on happiness are no longer as convincing as before and skepticism and even mistrust reign .
The changes we are experiencing lately are awakening sleeping fears in many people. They are instinctive fears, from which they whisper to us that perhaps, everything we took for granted can change and transform . It is almost like being a sudden traveler on board the Titanic and seeing how we are getting closer and closer to a large iceberg.
However, seeing such a threat also has a positive side: it allows us to be prepared . It forces us to find something to hold on to so as not to lose balance, to find a lifeboat to stay afloat at all times ...
We are, therefore, before a psychological concept, but above all a philosophical one, which describes a state that anyone can be feeling right now. Let's dig a little deeper into this idea.
Titanic syndrome, what does it consist of?
The term Titanic syndrome arose in 2006 following a publication: Liquid fear , by the philosopher Zygmunt Bauman . In this interesting work, the one who was one of the most influential essayists in recent years spoke of disappointment and the emergence of fear.
For many years, we people came to believe that modernity today would be the sharpest reflection of our progress . We focused on this new millennium the idea that we would finally leave behind the troubles of inequality , lack, and the anguish of the past ... We imagined that we would finally have control over our social and natural environments.
It is evident that this has not been the case. Professor Bauman then introduced the metaphor of the Titanic syndrome. We are a society that travels aboard the iconic and fateful British ocean liner and that is seeing a cataclysm coming . That fear and the awareness that many of the things we took for granted are going to collapse, define without a doubt the current moment.
The irony is that somehow in this book he predicted many of the things we feel, live, and perceive right now. Thus, and despite the fact that Zygmunt Bauman left us in 2017 and Liquid Fear was written in the wake of the Katrina disaster, its pages are almost prophetic about 2020.
We are afraid of something that glimpses on the horizon
The Titanic syndrome does not exclusively define the human being's fear of the feeling that the world he knows is going to collapse. It is something deeper and, in turn, useful. At the end of the day, Bauman as a great thinker fulfilled with his books the goal of every philosopher: to help us reflect , to give us tools for change and action.
With this metaphor a fact is left in evidence: we are glimpsing the approach of a disaster and we are not acting. Faced with something like this, we only have two options: limit ourselves to being passive passengers on board a fatal liner or, be forewarned.
In the face of a rapidly changing world, an "escape plan" must be designed
The Titanic disaster came not so much from the presence of the iceberg as from the lack of an evacuation plan . The White Star Line shipping company defined its creature as "unsinkable," as the safest ship ever created. However, it did provide the Titanic with 20 lifeboats, when it had room for 74 boats. There was no defined evacuation plan and the crew was unable to react when the disaster struck. The forecast was null.
We are almost in the same situation. We navigate a constantly changing ocean. We make decisions based only on that close environment in which everything is safe. But we are not capable of designing an escape plan against a horizon that we intuit as threatening.
The Titanic syndrome is defined by that fear that everything we take for granted will collapse, but it also integrates a need: knowing how to react . How? If all the wrong decisions made in the Titanic disaster resulted in the loss of 1,413 people , what should we do in the current context?
- You have to believe that the impossible is possible , explains Bauman. Fear is not intended to paralyze us, but to force us to react. For this, it is essential that we convince ourselves that we have the capacity to change things.
- We don't have to wait for someone to save us. We have become used to depending on third parties, hoping that others will respond to our needs. We must define an action plan (ours) and be responsible for each decision, for each advance.
- You have to get out of the routine. We can't be like that Titanic music orchestra that kept playing while the ship sank . We must begin to generate changes, to enable ourselves in new skills, awaken strengths, psychological strengths and be able to adapt to a new vital and social stage with hope and resilience .
To conclude, the Titanic syndrome is a fully topical concept that is worth reflecting on. In times of uncertainty, there is only one certainty that we must never lose sight of: confidence in ourselves and that we will be able to face any adversity.
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