A query for 2023: Why can't the world be extra like a cruise ship?

I just lately bought off the actually gorgeous Sky Princess cruise ship, which carried about 2,600 passengers and a crew of 1,400. 

Previous to one of many performances by the singers and dancers in the primary theater, the cruise director talked about that the crew got here from 60 completely different nations and all get alongside splendidly whereas working in shut contact, seven days per week, throughout six-month contracts. It’s actually a tapestry of interwoven humanity — individuals of all races, colours, faiths and sexual preferences doing all they’ll to supply for his or her households again residence of their numerous international locations.

From that bit of knowledge, I puzzled: Why can’t the world be extra like a cruise ship, in relation to peaceable and vital human interactions?

Does that sound like too easy a query? In some methods, maybe it’s unrealistic, however in a variety of different fairly substantial methods, it’s by no means.

Often, it’s not the hard-working residents of countries the world over who’re declaring hate and conflict on individuals of one other nation; as a substitute it’s their usually rich, entitled and generally feckless “leaders.”

The hard-working of us are just too busy attempting to feed their youngsters, hold a roof over their heads, and discover moments of happiness. They’re not likely fascinated with hating or attacking individuals from different international locations, who most probably are struggling equally.

However their “leaders” (and generally their households) who dwell in bubbles of privilege and barely endure the results of the destructive actions they foist upon others are those liable for lots of the ills plaguing humanity. For instance, it would nearly by no means be the kids of those “leaders” who’re pressured into fight once they wage conflict on one other nation — it’s the little children of these hard-working, typically poor residents.  

As somebody who grew up in poverty and was typically homeless as a baby, I’ve been lucky to have taken many cruises through the years. Every time, I sit again in awe whereas observing the devoted workers and supervisors — who generally come from poor or disenfranchised backgrounds, too — as they work together graciously with each other, regardless of any variations they could have.  

One cause why that’s so is that the supervisors as soon as have been newly employed workers, maybe looking for to flee robust circumstances again residence and attempting to supply for his or her family members. It might have taken them years to safe their promotions. They know the struggles, worries and fears their workers might really feel. How lots of the world’s political “leaders” could make the identical declare with regard to the tens of millions of individuals they govern? 

So, why can’t the world be extra like a cruise ship? Effectively, most world “leaders” seemingly by no means have skilled such a microcosm of humanity working and dwelling as one to supply — and obtain — happiness. However that “microcosm” is actual. I’ve seen that it exists harmoniously, 24/7/365, inside the fleets of cruise traces.   

Understanding that, perhaps the cruise traces ought to supply to host world leaders for onboard symposiums, wherein they’re invited right down to the crew decks to look at the representatives of 60 nations in motion. Whereas there, the world leaders may study a precious lesson in empathy by bussing tables, doing laundry, cleansing cabins, after which unwinding within the crew lounge with those that have labored that arduous for years. 

Positive, it’s exhausting to think about President Biden bussing tables alongside, say, French President Emmanuel Macron or German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Some world leaders seemingly wouldn’t attend, equivalent to China’s Xi Jinping and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And a few in all probability wouldn’t be invited — absolutely not Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Iran’s Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei. However the broader level stands: These leaders and others may benefit from getting their arms soiled and actually serving others whereas working with the crew of a cruise ship.

Such an expertise simply would possibly remind our world leaders that, finally, we’re all the identical.  We’re all on the “Good Ship Earth,” crusing the photo voltaic system, attempting to outlive in peace.

Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications guide, was a author within the White Home for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former particular assistant for coverage and communications on the Pentagon over the last three years of the Bush administration.