These blogs have considered the desirability of contentment, and the path to that gentle condition of the mind being a development of the idea of the Golden Rule as stated only in the King James version. At its center contentment is enjoying of the world as it is, and as it presents itself to us; thus a contented person is able to experience anything and everything the world shows us. It appears that people who live the longest have chosen not to explore very deeply into physically dangerous paths, or they wouldn’t have lived to be old. As I have posted before, When Mother Nature speaks we obey or she kills us. Take big risks if there is little chance of punishment and a chance of a big payoff; conversely avoid all risk where there is any risk of permanent injury, and little chance of reward. The opportunity for contentment is maximized by living within nature’s laws.
Many people chase after intense experience, as if a few moments of intensity is worth a serious permanent injury, but why? Isn’t a good conversation, discussing things that are important to you, a more fully engaging experience? Base jumping off a cliff and flying so close to it at 100 mph that you can touch the flowers is unquestionably exhilarating for a minute, and when videoed makes for great bragging rights. Also, those who do that activity are not filled with fear while doing it, or they would fail even more often than they do, and failure in the tiniest way means certain death. They may not even have an adrenalin rush, as that would also interfere with the quality of their performance. To perform best means paying very close attention to what one is doing, but one can do that just playing a video game, and with zero physical risk, but of course there are few bragging rights unless one is contending for a championship.
Okay, so I have done some risky things in the past, and you can pick through this blog and find a few, but there was always, I think, a probability of some reward. Of course every time you touch a key on your computer there is a risk of error, some of which have problems with recovery, but mostly a mistake is just corrected by reversing the function, or control-z-ing out. When a base jumper just touches the passing cliff a tiny bit too much it causes irrecoverable disaster. So, my question returns, why take chances where there is no recovery, and sometimes there is no way of anticipating all the potential little things that can cause an ultimate problem?
Games of chance just don’t make sense to me, because failure is built into the game. And most games are zero sum where the amount wagered by all of the contending parties is split up by the end of the game, so the group as a whole hasn’t gained anything, and as a group they have wasted a lot of time and energy just redistributing existing stuff. The same effort and risk could have been put into doing some creative enterprise and had a much bigger pay off.
Obviously I don’t understand! I will admit that, and yet with my personal philosophy of helping people move toward their goals, not mine, I must ask, “What is the real goal of those people seeking intense experience?” It can’t possibly be picking a flower off of the face of a cliff! That’s just a symbol of what they have accomplished, and the flower itself couldn’t be sold for a dime, if someone didn’t know its source.
The goal of risk takers must be something very important!, but what is it?