by Kent Sterling
Some places where I tried to buy a burger were closed, but I was out in the mess doing what I would have done on the typical 75-degree day. The only concessions I make to the weather are to drive more cautiously, and to wear more clothing.
My way isn’t the only way. Thousands respond to a slightly adverse weather forecast by completely wigging out. They buy loaves of bread and gallons of milk as though nuclear winter is coming rather than a snow storm.
The 11-inches was the second highest total snowfall on any one day in Indy since weather records have been kept, and in two days all businesses were open and life returned to normal. Still, people run to the store because they are frightened of running out of food.
I used to call them idiots. Now, I realize we are all just wired a little differently, and some people spend a lot of time worrying that life will harm them if they don’t take precautions. See, we can all evolve into more tolerant people – even after we turn 40.
The Winter Olympics in Sochi is getting some bad press as the security in the southern Russia resort community is questioned. “Black widow terrorists may already be on the ground in Sochi with explosives they plan to detonate in suicide bombings during the Olympiad,” the solemn news anchors tell us.
Because of the reports questioning security, many are choosing not to travel to Sochi – including some parents of the athletes.
The average suicide bombing takes roughly 30 lives – some more and some less. Even if three of these kooks successfully blow themselves up and take 30 tourists or athletes with them, that’s 93 deaths.
In 2012, 10,322 died in car accidents caused by drunk drivers in the United States, and 500 people were murdered in Chicago. People still drive every day, and nearly three million continue to live in Chicago.
If I had any inclination to watch live a Winter Olympics that I will avoid on television, I would think nothing of traveling to Sochi. The threat of some lunatic with an explosive strapped to her chest flipping the switch marked “BOOM!” within the range needed to cause me harm would be no deterrent to my plans whatsoever.
When we change our lives because of fear caused by psychopaths, the psychopaths win. They are called terrorists for a reason – their work is designed to prey on our instinct to fear – and I’m not giving in.
The Israelis have written the book on how to deal with terrorists, and that book’s message is, “Live your life as you would otherwise, and never lend power to them through reaction.” By ignoring them, we strip them of meaning and power.
In fact, I would be more likely to travel to Sochi given the threat, and I would make sure I spent my energy laughing and enjoying life just to spite the sociopaths who would choose to harm me because of the political message they yearn to send.
The potential for harm exists everywhere. Last year, a fisherman in Belarus was killed by a beaver while attempting to take a picture with the animal. The beaver bit the man, severing a large artery in his leg. In 2011, Jose Luis Ochoa died after being stabbed in the leg at a cockfight in California by one of the birds that had a knife attached to its limb. In 2010, Mike Edwards, cellist for the band ELO, died when a large round bale of hay rolled down the hill and smashed his car while he was out driving. The potential for disaster is everywhere. Whether it’s cancer, murder, fire, or a chicken with a razor strapped to its leg, we are all going to meet our doom one day.
That’s life. In 100 years, something fatal will have happened to virtually all of us.
We can either enjoy every second, and embrace being thrilled by the unknown. Or we can adjust how we live our lives based upon our fears.
I’m enjoying the ride, and would be in Sochi next month for the sheer joy of being defiant if the majority of the events in the Winter Olympics weren’t so damn dull.