Friday, March 13, 2009

Brave or Stupid?

Last night I caught a story on TV, and the host was talking about how brave the person in the story was.  Here's what this "brave" person does.  He flies above the ocean in a helicopter and looks down into the water trying to spot Marlin.  Once a fish is located, he opens the door to the helicopter as it follows this fish.  And then he jumps out of the helicopter, lands on the fish, and wrestles it.  This is brave?  If you ask me, it is stupid!

The way I see it, if you voluntarily risk your life for a thrill, or any other reason that is not life-and-death for you or another person, it is not brave.  It may be adventuresome, or it may be thrill-seeking, it may take the biggest steel balls known to man, but it is definitely not brave.

I like a thrill as much as the next person.  I have bungee jumped several times. I would love to sky dive, although so far I've only done the indoor wind tower kind.  Heights are cool.  Scuba diving is cool.  Jumping out of a helicopter into the ocean sounds cool.  But if I did all of those things, would I deserve some kind of medal for bravery.  Hardly.

To show bravery, you would have to be courageous in the face of death - whether your death or someone else's.  If a house is burning down, and you run into the fire in order to save someone - that's brave.  If a crazed gunman is going nuts and you acted to stop him - that's brave.  If you release a toxic gas in the bedroom even though your wife has repeatedly told you not to - that's brave.  No wait, that's I'm confusing myself!

If we start going around calling every extreme sport junky brave, doesn't that take away from our true heroes.  People who really do something exceptional that makes someone's continued life possible.  Someone who stops criminal activity.  Someone who gives their life for something that matters.  These people are brave - not alligator wrestlers.

It just goes to show how sensationalized the world has become.  Nothing can just be what it is.  
With that said, it was so brave of me to write this blog.  I risked hangnails and carpel tunnel as I manipulated the keyboard.  I could have sprained a finger clicking on the publish button.  I should win an award of some sort!

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