Someone sent me a link to this amazing video of people doing all sorts of crazy athletic (or just plain crazy) stunts. Check it out; it's a few minutes long but very compelling.
This filled me with admiration in some ways. For example, can you imagine what kinds of fears people overcame to do some of these stunts? How many bruises, sprains, gashes, breaks, cuts, fractures, and PAIN some of them suffered in pursuit of their goal,? Yet still they kept at it until they succeeded. Such determination, patience, dedication, resolve, endurance.
Power to them.
Yet I couldn't help thinking about how many people worldwide are living on too-few calories a day or don't have access to potable water. Without nutrition and hydration, even many young people who should be in the prime of life are unable even to crawl a few hundred feet -- that would be their death-defying stunt.
It must be nice to be both free and well-nurtured enough (and in many cases, rich enough) to engage in pursuits such as those demonstrated in the video.
If these people were a tenth as dedicated to making the world a better place as they are to pushing themselves to the height of physical prowess (and self-glorification), we'd have a much more egalitarian society. There'd be less governmental and corporate abuse of power, more jobs, stronger communities, less environmental degradation, less stress, more economic opportunity, and more concern for one another's well being.
Watching this video reminds me, too, of the clever hackers who are so good at messing up people's personal computers (which can in turn mess up people's personal lives pretty badly).
If only these smart s^*#heads would put their brains and talents into doing something for the common good. Some of them are smart enough, I've no doubt (especially if they put their heads together with others of similar bent), to figure out a way, say . . .
for ivory poachers to make a living doing something less murderous but equally lucrative, or
to create a community wind farm in a town that's getting overrun by gas drilling or coal mining operations -- thereby negating the community's ostensible need for fossil fuels, or
to build a village water well for a place that has none, or
to fund a children's vaccination program, or
. . . who knows, to find a cure for diabetes, or bronchitis, or asthma, or cancer.
We need to tell young people there is glory in that kind of work, not just in ten minutes of fame on YouTube (even if it gets a million hits). Glory doesn't come only from appearing on American Idol or being the next big mini-star on Facebook.
In short, it can't be all about ME. It's got to be about US. Or we really won't make it at all.
Not to be a bummer. The video is still fun to watch.