Reasonable vs. Reckless – You decide!
Fear can be a good thing…but, only if it is coupled with a wee bit of common sense! Using well-founded reasoning, can keep us from such perilous follies as playing with rattlesnakes, crossing big city freeways on a skateboard, and body surfing in the eye of a hurricane.
But, have you noticed how irrational some folks can get when it comes to occasions when their health and well-being could, or would, be in serious danger?
Take for instance, that I have friends whom I have persistently asked to join me on a return tour of the Greek islands as their seaside vacation. And, stubbornly they reject this invitation based upon their unfounded fear of encountering acts of terrorism abroad.
Number one, I can only assume they do not watch TV or read newspapers? If they did, they would accept the glaring reality that a large portion of all acts of senseless violence in the world take place right here in the good old US of A. Second, a small amount of research on their part would reveal that Greece has experienced relatively little terrorism, either domestic or foreign in origin, over the past three or four decades. Thirdly, their food is fabulous!
Yet, they ain’t (sic) going to recklessly take a chance that this stability might suddenly dissolve. Therefore, a ‘carefree’ adventure, in one of Europe’s most beautiful playgrounds, will not show up not in any of their future plans. So, instead, they will stay right here at home – nervously lingering about in their schools, churches, concert venues and work places – where they are emotionally weighed down by the Area 51-style security and safety features they now endure (or soon will)?
Consider the escalating obesity and rise of diabetes in this country. A growing number of Americans appear to be content to limit their exercise routine to leisurely strolls down the grocery store aisles to gather up massive reserves of junk foods? Yet, good old-fashion horse sense would clue them into the high probability that carrying around an extra 25 to 50 pounds could dangerously stress the old ticker. Likewise, they seem oblivious to the fact that zealously avoiding a lifestyle that incorporates a healthy diet and regular physical activity often leads down the path to the permanent disabilities, life-altering dialysis or premature death which plague diabetics.
And, although the use of tobacco products seems (thankfully) to be declining, the obsession with nicotine-laden e-cigarettes is reported to be growing by leaps and bounds, especially among our teens. Have we lost sight of the harmful effects of this highly addictive poison? Perhaps, the same question should have been asked of opioids before they became problematic. I’d speculate their epidemic popularity might be traced back to a misguided belief that prescription drugs somehow pose less risks (i.e., physical, psychological, legal, economic or social) than illicit street drugs and, no doubt, the greed factor kicked in in a big way among callous providers of these drugs?
The really, really scary scenario, which always makes me shudder, is the thought of going into a convenience store late at night to purchase some nutrient-deficient snack food or an electronic smoking device. To me, the chance of encountering, what some might term, a “bad actor with a dark heart”, is unnerving and simply not worth taking. However, I also find that my four-year-old grandson is nervous about going to the beach because he, and his mom, expect to find man-eating sharks and flesh-eating bacteria that will readily grab hold of him while he is frolicking in the surf.
I guess that, compared to these potentially high-risk scenarios, the foreign destinations and deep-wilderness excursions which I so passionately enjoy can be accurately labeled as no more than mildly-stimulating cake walks! Thus, my parting thought, is that, “If, in the end, we choose to stick our heads in the sand, self-destruct or hide behind locked doors and, thereby, sacrifice the countless grand adventures this life has to offer - then the bad guys (e.g., cold-blooded terrorists, crooks or profit-takers) WIN!