Who will be on top? That is the consistent question I have experienced with every human being within my life, and it is a carnal need to reign over others.
From sibling rivalries to the workplace, from the job site to the pulpit, from ethnic groups to politicians, it always the same power struggle – especially in an election year.
1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
People used to be a little more gracious and even respectful of their fellow man and (woman). Children used to look up to older and wiser people – even the elderly… but not so much nowadays.
The content of one’s character used to make the difference; and it was not just in hollow words, but rather in action. As a whole, most people who merited a position – as a doctor for example, had to pay the price of hard work and study to rise to the top of their professions, and they could not skip corners while doing so.
Once you start compromising with meriting a position for the appeasement of others – you have just destroyed the integrity of that position earned. I was a marine engineer, so I will start first with the field which I am most familiar with.
I started off learning to be a sailor, I was taught the ropes by my father. As a teenager I experienced a hurricane while at anchor in a cove of my family’s sailboat. The hurricane force winds picked up a two-man lifeboat tied on back and used it just like a kite above us. I tried to pull it back down, but my Dad just grabbed he knife and cut the line, sending it rolling over the water like a tire rolling downhill! When we got back into port the next day boats from marinas were beached and crushed in all fashions, I am sure costing the owners millions of dollars.
My point is, I had to learn how to be a sailor first by experience and then by some more formal training I learned later in the Coast Guard. I bounced back and forth from my shipboard positions from a boatswain’s position to an engineer. Each time I learned more and more what I was doing and became more proficient at whatever it was I focused upon.
What really started to annoy me after my time in the Coast Guard was human politics. I often think about the (liberal) leadership of the men who hired me at the Maritime Museum, they loved my work as it made them look good to others; their vessels being well painted polished and most importantly functional. Then came the social programs, senior aids set up by the City, youth training and work for the more unfortunate high school students.
For the most part this was fine with me, and I was able to develop some deep friendships in generally guiding people in different tasks of deck maintenance, and an understanding of basic shipboard piping systems and machinery.
One day an old inland buoy tender took on some water rather quickly; I grabbed Patrick who was a rather big kid, and he helped me haul dewatering pumps to the scene, and running the equipment as I frantically resealed the seems leaking between the planks!
Patrick and I were very satisfied with what we had achieved in saving the old boat from sinking! But then came in the “Who’s going to be on top” political posturing; I couldn’t believe the results when the museum supervisors returned the next morning. It turns out there was a big scene made on the pier in front of patrons of jumping up and down by the woman who took care of cleaning inboard. It seems in my rush to grab Patrick to dewater the boat, that he was sorely missed in his deck swabbing routine!
I was called to the office; it seems they wanted me to apologize for saving our little inland buoy tender from sinking! First it was the museum director which I explained I simply had no choice but to act immediately to save the boat. I thought it was settled; until the assistant director called me into his office. I told him the same story I told the director; but tears soon fell from my coworker _ and I was told “now, now, look what you made her do”!
The next problem of “who going to be on top” was from an older man, a veteran of WW2 in Saipan. Our relationship started off well enough, but he was a very proud man who knew little about seamanship, engineering or maintenance, in which I was instructed to perform years prior to the gentleman showing up on site. Incidentally, the old inland buoy tender later sank at the pier – as I was pulled off from taking responsibility for it!
I don’t wish to get too personal, but he liked to drink; I guess like many an old veteran who have seen the horrors of war. But all I knew at the time was that he wanted my position aboard ship. I showed up two hours earlier and left two hours later than the rest. But I didn’t mind, I needed the job, and loved the old ships, and never had challenged the wisdom of my supervisors. I was still young strong and dumb – as far as what I was forced to do, and sometimes beyond safety standards of the day (like going up in the rigging without a safety harness), yet I did what I was told to do in my 20’s. One day I had to organize a paint party aloft (on a raft) in painting the side of our submarine. The problem was I had a student who refused to out on a life jacket, so I let him board our raft without it. That was a big mistake, yet nothing was said and we went to painting. If memory serves me correctly, the raft hit a wake from a power boat. The big kid suited up in work coverall fell overboard; and to make matters worse, I soon discovered he could not swim!
I knew enough not to jump in after him, (for fear he would pull me under with him) so I grasped for him as he surfaced for air. It was only upon the second try that I was able to grab him as I knew where he would surface the second time!
I pulled him aboard the raft, and we secured operations. The good Lord was with us that day, for if the teen had drowned, well I’m not sure what would have happened to me or the supervisors of the museum. I can tell you one thing however: they were not happy that OSHA was called in the next day! The Captain was hit with the safety violations that were consistently overlooked, and as the inspectors exclaimed; we have heard it all before, “I’ve sailed the Seven Seas” nonsense!
It only got worse for me, the senior aid who lived aboard was given charge over me; I resented how he sharp-shot all that I did, and I was even asked by him “what project I was going to do the next day”, then he started the job himself to purposely undermine me. One day I was told to go do a job by the old soldier, and I did it. When I got back, he asked me if I had any questions? I said, Yes, why couldn’t you have done that job? With that he picked up a wooden chair and came after me; nothing happened to him, but I was told to wear my hard hat! Real funny hu? Have I mentioned all the workforce was Black besides myself, it shouldn’t make any difference, but it enevidably did. The next day the senior aid (who was not even a City Employee) was made the work supervisor, he started ranting and raving about his perceived racism on my part. I think, it was simply a case of me not liking (the stunts that he pulled on me at every opportunity to aggrandise himself). So we all just sat and listened to our new boss of the job, as I looked over to another black man who I worked with quite frequently.
The Captain came down the ladder and was terribly angry that no work was being done. Then he immediately was told by the senior aid that I was a racist; then my coworker spoke up (who was also a senior aid) exclaiming – “Captain, I never had a problem with Roland”! He saved my job that day, and I am most grateful to the man who stood up for my character when I most needed him! Sometimes perception is everything, but it may not be the truth – but only a perception. Racism has always been a problem with humanity, just take World War Two as an example, it was filled with racism on all sides.
Unfortunately, it is inherent in the hearts of fallen man, and has always been divisive. And like any noble undertaking, it takes work within individuals of all ethnic groups and cultures to overcome. No one despite their “virtue signaling” is above falling victim to this condition, if for no other reason than growing up in a specific culture, or perhaps just insensitivity towards others; which is often the result of youth. Politicians use it to swing votes, tyrants use it as a mien to sow discord and cause political uprisings, and all for that same old reason — WHO WILL BE ON TOP.
I was a trained Equal Opportunity Representative to the Commander while in the Army, we were taught when cultures collide, people divide. I was chosen (I believe) as a favor from our Black First Sergeant, in a predominantly African American unit. He understood my character and he also understood the stress soldiers would have, some of which would use racism as an excuse to get out of being disciplined for shirking from their responsibilities. I later became a Chaplain’s Assistant which also required Equal Opportunity training.
The Bible teaches that Nation is translated ETHOS (in the Greek) and is where we get the term Ethnic Group from. In Matthew 24:7 “For Nation will rise against Nation and Kingdom against Kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers’ places” –  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. prior to the return of the Lord.
In the end of days the Bible speaks about wickedness and lawlessness, perhaps this “New World Order” championed amongst many politicians who are pushing for this (“new world orders leader”) – who will eventually pose as God before the end of the age?
This is what Satan has always wanted; to be GOD upon the earth, and I suspect he will soon be getting his wish – at least for a short time, prior to 2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Peace on earth, Good will towards men – from another fallible human being…