It is 1942 and the passenger liner SS Queen of Glasgow is one day out of Liverpool heading to New York. The ship is traveling without her convoy, alone in the dark seas of the Atlantic Ocean. A man, Mr. Carl Lanser, finds himself on the deck of this ship, not knowing who he is, where he is and how he ended up on this very ship.The man decides to join the other passengers in the dining area while trying to figure out the details of his current situation. Mr. Lanser is asked by the other passengers details of his life, all of which he cannot recall. They begin discussing the war and the fear of being followed by the German U-Boats. The passengers begin speculating what an attack would look like, when Mr. Lanser begins to rattle off statics and plans of how the German U-Boats operate and their plan of attack. He, as well as the passengers, are surprised at his knowledge of the German U-Boats.
After dinner, Mr. Lanser begins a conversation with a US Military person and they begin to discuss how they both ended up on this particular ship. Mr. Lanser cannot recall how he got on this ship, he only remembers this moment he is in and the feeling of dread which he cannot explain. He believes the ship is being stalked by a German U-Boat. Mr. Lanser is later questioned by the ship’s Captain about his extensive knowledge of German U-Boats. He is also questioned about the German Naval Officers cap in his room, neither which he can explain. While sitting at the bar, he looks at a clock reading 12:05am and realizes that something is going to happen at 1:15am. He doesn’t know what but knows something will happen.
At 1:15am, Mr. Lanser realizes what has happened and how he arrived on the SS Queen of Glasgow. Mr. Lanser is in Hell. Mr. Lanser was the Captain of a German U-Boat that sunk the passenger liner SS Queen of Glasgow during WWII. Mr. Lanser’s afterlife is now spent, night after night, as a victim of the very act of war he committed in 1942.
The lesson of this Twilight Zone episode is fairly clear, the life you live today determines the next one you will be granted. Whether you believe in Heaven or Hell, Karma, or whatever you believe, what you do in this life matters not only for now, but for later. With that being said, we shouldn’t make decisions in this life solely for what it will grant us in the next one. We should be acting from a place of what is the right thing to do. We should be making decisions and behaving as if everyone’s life matters, because it does. Life is not just about getting ahead, it is also about getting along with others. Life is not a solitary game with only one winner. Life is about the journey, life if about the relationships, life is about the experiences, and life is about becoming a better version of ourselves today.
We are in a very unique time right now. The world is facing a problem together in dealing with COVID-19 and the only way we, as a world, are going to heal is by working together and helping one another. It is a scary time, but it is in times of stress and fear where we and others see who we really are. Are you someone who, in times of fear, looks out only for yourself and have a “only the strong will survive” mentality or are you someone who, in times of fear, look to help yourself and someone else, someone who looks at yourself as part of a community and part of a team who can solve problems, ease pain, make lives better for others, and positively impact those who you come into contact with? The choice is yours and the time is now. We are always looking for a moment when we can shine and showcase who we really are. With the stress and fear of the current situation and the world we are living in, show the world that you care, show your community you care, show the best parts of yourself and how the world is better because you are in it.