1/22/2008

Safety Last

It’s a fine line, the one between bravado and insanity. Often, no distinction is made- and they are mistaken for the other (especially in the minds of people engaged in the questioned activity- the ones who tend to veer towards ‘insane’).

A stunt rider doing wheelies on a closed circuit with protective clothing is brave; a collage student mimicking the rider in his college parking lot isn’t.

We praise Kimi Raikkonen’s moves when he tries overtaking his competitor on a tight corner; we snarl obscenities at the guy who cuts and weaves around the crowded traffic in a similar manner.

No, this distinction is not for the automobile world alone; we can find such people aplenty in our day-to-day lives. You know the type, the idiots who think they are being ‘brave’.

Like the guy who goes to exam hall without any preparation. He proudly announces “I haven’t studied anything/I studied for two hours- that’s all!” and I’m yet to hear “he smokes two packs of cigarettes every day even though he has asthma… what a brave fellow!”

Can’t these guys recognize their stupidity? Yes, they can. And they are very well aware of the hazards. But their craving for attention overcomes the guilt of doing things which aren’t right. They feel bad when things don’t go their way- don’t you think the guy who studies nothing would want to clear thee exam? And would the asthmatic smoker who is coughing incessantly be happy when he has to eat 4 tablets- 3 times a day? Won’t the ‘roadside stuntman’ feel bad, when he is lying in the hospital bed- all alone?

Never listen to a person who fits this mould. If he is given attention (both positive and negative- it doesn’t matter to him as long as he gets one) he’ll force him through the similar ordeal once again. And unknowingly, YOU will be partly responsible for his condition.

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