I was reading through the news today and caught a story about a recent shark attack in Australia; a 15ft. great white shark attacked and killed a 21 year-old surfer, ripping him in half. Only his upper body was found, with the lower half of his body assumed to have been eaten or discarded by the attacking shark.
A shark expert reported the attack to be a very rare occurrence, citing only two shark-related deaths per year, in that area, as compared to over 400 annual deaths by people who were killed by falling coconuts. 400:2 – I’d sooner swim in the ocean than park myself under a coconut tree.
That being said, I can’t help but wonder whether or not this attack will prevent surfers from going out and risking their lives to chase the waves. In all reality, we have a greater chance of being killed in an auto accident than we are by hopping aboard a surfboard and attempting to hang ten.
Truth be told, if we lived our lives as somebody familiar with the field of actuary sciences; study that predicts lifespan expectancy, we’d probably have incredibly boring lives. “Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to engage in sexual activity” the TV tells us on a regular basis. Should there come a day where I’m no longer healthy enough to get it on, I cannot help but wonder if I’ll really be living at that moment.
With this in mind, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our ability to chase risk, verus living comfortably in the soft spot of our homes. For many years, I’ve pondered the idea of purchasing a motorcycle (crotch rocket) and have always been deterred by the risk associated with them. However, I have no problem zipping through traffic in my BMW 330i.
Would it have been safer to purchase a Volvo wagon than my BMW? Absolutely. Would it have been more economical to purchase an A-to-B car? Absolutely. However, that’s not the way I go through life.
A life spent avoiding risks, rather than taking them, is one of the most boring methods of living I can possibly imagine.
This weekend, I’ve spent a lot of time reading and thinking about life. Reading through my grandfather’s book and also going through our family history, I cannot help but wonder whether or not I am failing to continue a family pattern of chasing risks, living loud, and pursuing adventure to the hilt.
What does it mean to be fearless? One doesn’t earn this title simply by being
born into it. You have to chase down the things that terrify you, confront them, and become familiar with them until they no longer terrify you.