Our Obsession With Bigness


Now, what the hell are we going to do with it?  According to the news this morning it’s the question being posed concerning the Costa Concordia which ran aground on the Italian coastline some time ago. Twice as heavy as the Titanic, engineers are at a loss of how to deal with her. So there she lies, in all her glory, confounding the very intellect that created her.

Why this obsession with bigness and complexity to the extend of creating problems that boggle the mind? Some will say it’s all about pushing the envelope and progress. I suppose that’s true to a point, but isn’t there something else about it?

I read a great post on one of my favourite blogs “Spirit Lights the Way” about Voyager 1’s images of the earth. You can’t help but have feelings of smallness and insignificance as you gaze on the earth hanging there suspended in the vastness of the cosmos. I wonder to what extent our obsession with bigness is also a need flowing out of feelings such as these?

Perhaps when we create enormous things like the Costa Concordia it is also our way of saying, “Hallo! Here I am. Can you see me? Look at me; and look at what I’ve done.”  But in the end, I suspect, this view is going to get us in to a lot trouble. It already has in so many ways.



About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in boats, Identity, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Our Obsession With Bigness

  1. The Biggest, The Best, Very Important People, The Forbes 100, The Costa Concordia – The Bic Mac. I wonder what amusement we must afford for our extraterrestials on any given day?


  2. nrhatch says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Don.

    That photo is a poster child for Robbie Burns’ poem:

    The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
    Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    To read the whole poem: http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/the-best-laid-schemes-gang-aft-agley/

    We are such silly rabbits! Sheila’s got a point . . . ET is probably watching Reality TV and laughing out loud at our antics. :mrgreen:


    • Don says:

      I agree,Nancy. I also love the thought Sheila shared. The poem is brilliant; such profound truth. Only a poet like Robbie Burns can be so poignant in showing up our absurdities.


  3. darrelhoff says:

    I guess a more beautiful thing is when a loved one says to us “i see you” 🙂


  4. josna says:

    Didn’t they learn their lesson with the Titanic? I like your characteristic approach in this post: rather than merely condemning an attitude (easy to do, but totally unhelpful), you try to understand how our human condition gives rise to it. (And THEN you condemn it! :))
    Like that dot-in-the-darkness image, too.


  5. ladyfi says:

    It’s only in certain cultures that big is better though… I believe and hope that the pendulum will swing back to the less is more kind of thinking.


  6. Hudson Howl says:

    Goes to over compensating because ‘man’ is lacking in other areas. The bigger the ship, the smaller the………well you get my drift.

    Also goes….Be happy where you are, with what you have…………this is probably as good as it is going to get We are standing on part of the universe, what more could we ask for…………zen shtufffs and all that.


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