The pictures are shocking: people with life vests disembarking a sinking vessel. Despite our advanced technological wizardry, the cruise ship Costa Concordia sank, mostly, off the Italian coast. They're calling it human error. Eleven people have been confirmed dead, and another 21 are still missing.
There is a character lesson to learn regarding the actions of the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, and the chief purser, Manrico Gianpetroni.
Francesco Schettino left his post for dry land, claiming he fell into a lifeboat. Even if we concede that this might have happened, refusing to go back and fulfill his duty as captain is cowardice. Schettino is under house arrest and faces charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship. Reports from crew say that Schettino was arrogant.
Manrico Gianpetronistayed aboard ship to fulfill his duties as chief purser. He helped dozens of people escape before breaking a leg and being stuck below decks. In a hospital interview, Gianpetroni acknowledges that it was his job to stay on board to help passengers leave. And thankfully, many people came to help those aboard the stricken vessel.
Let's use Gianpetroni's story as a lesson to teach our children character -- and Scettino's to teach them what not to do.