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Ruta Mave: ‘We are privileged, we have first world problems’

Monday 3 July 2023 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion


Ruta Mave: ‘We are privileged, we have first world problems’
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

As Rose lay huddling on the floating door, Jack clung to the side of it while his body was immersed in the freezing waters after the Titanic had hit the iceberg.

The love story of the lower-class boy and the upper-class girl is timeless and tragic.

In his dying words Jack says to Rose “You must do me this honour… promise me you will survive… that you will never give up… no matter what happens… no matter how hopeless… The most asked question from the Titanic movie continues to be, “Why didn’t Jack get on the door?”

The sinking of the Titanic is one of the most well-known tragedies in history due to the huge loss of life 1500 souls, of which 50 -60 were children, one from first class. 

The tickets to ride the maiden voyage of the unsinkable ship had the first-class passengers enjoying opulent luxury in the upper decks for $7000 while the poorer lower class were confined to the lower decks, with many women and children for $1700.

Those with money chose to travel for enjoyment because they could.

Those in the lower decks were hoping to relocate to start a new life and make money to improve their lives, and those of their family.

The romantic intrigue of the Titanic, 111 years after its sinking is still alive and commercially viable. 

Recently, a submersible, the Titan, traveled with five passengers.

Three paid $250,000 each to sit in a ‘tin can’ on the floor in the dark with no windows, no amenities, driven by a small hand held PS game controller unit to view the sunken ship via an outdoor camera which would give them similar images they could see from the movie.

At 1 hour and 45 minutes into the journey, all communication was lost.

A massive rescue mission was launched and media across the globe were fixated on the search. 

The Titan had made the descent before but had recently been called up by others to wait for safety compliance certification before risking another journey.

The designer and pilot of the Titan made a statement about ‘regulation restricting innovation’ and then similarly remarked, as did the designer of the Titanic, saying it was ‘unsinkable’ quoting his engineering knowledge and accreditations as proof.

The world waited with baited breath to see if they could be found with 40 hours of oxygen left. 

Days after extensive searching from Canada and United States coast guards, debris was found indicating the Titan had suffered a catastrophic event and likely imploded, causing instantaneous death.

The rescue attempt costs will be more than the $750,000 paid to do the trip, and is being paid by taxpayers, who earn far less than the billionaires aboard.

Only a few days prior, a ship left Libya sailing for Italy full of hopeful refugees wanting to get away from poverty and war conflict to find a better life for themselves and their families. 

They paid approximately $2000 to $6000 for a seat on the fishing trawler. 

There were an estimated 100 children aboard, mainly kept in the hull, with the women, while above every inch of the deck, a man was sitting.

It has been labelled Europe’s worst migrant disaster. Reports now say 750 boarded the ill -fated boat, only 104 rescued, and over 500 are missing, presumed dead.

The media reports in comparison to the Titan submersible going missing were much smaller and less sensational, many around the world were not aware it had happened.

The rich still die doing what they enjoy, while the poor still die trying to improve their circumstances.

There is an estimated 110 million people who have had to flee their homes because of conflict persecution or human rights violation.

Two million have fled the war in Sudan since April, and over 11 million left ahead of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, making it the largest displacement of people since WWII.

Why are we so immune to the conflict of the world and people suffering more than us?

Is it because there is a constant never-ending stream of it?

I remember growing up being told that there are starving children in Africa who would love to eat my brussels sprouts – I’m not convinced, but starving children still exist.

We are privileged. We have first world problems like no imported eggs, meanwhile chickens lay eggs and run around wild and free, but we ignore them.

Why is the plight of rich people more news worthy than poor people?

Is it because we are more intrigued by rich lives than helping a poor one?

The Titan carried two rich Pakistani men, the Libyan boat had 350 Pakistani people.

Who knew?

As a Christian nation, are our immigration laws acting to help others trying to better their lives by coming here to work?

Should it be improved?