Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter can teach us a thing or two

My mom sent this to me. Enjoy!

I found this quite interesting ... the early portion of the article mentions that he was not only a dare devil but an ego maniac and hyperactive, making lots of mistakes. But I agree with the conclusion - are we really living? are we living in fear and doing nothing? are we taking risks that are not quite so obvious as wrestling crocodiles? most of us are endangering our lives in a more subtle way ...

"Yet Irwin never let fear stand in the way of his love of life. He was out there risking, every day, and learning and growing and, well, living. His death is being called, of course, a tragedy. He was only 44. He was a happy husband and father of two great kids. He was a great conservationist who, had he lived, could have done so much more for wildlife preservation. One of his dreams, for instance, was to use the money he was making from royalties and his famed Australia Zoo to buy large tracts of wilderness land and create wilderness reserves that could never be bought by developers.

But is his death really all that tragic? I know a lot of people who are so afraid of dying that they end up afraid to live. So afraid of failure that they end up failing to try. It makes you ask the question, what's worse? Living an unlived life, or dying a lived one? We know what Irwin's answer would have been.

I can't say I'll miss Steve Irwin, because the only time I ever watched him was when I was channel surfing. But I can say that even in death, I envy him. I'm 55, out of shape, diabetic, and afraid of dying. I could get in shape, change my diet and my attitude, and really kick ass and start living, but I haven't. When you think about it, I live in just as big a danger zone as Steve Irwin did. I could use a little more of his hyperactivity, or, if you prefer, boundless enthusiasm. I could use a shot or two of his brazen disregard for fear and disdain for inertia. I'm not saying I need to wrestle crocs or hunt pythons, but I wouldn't mind experiencing life to the fullest instead of waking up every morning afraid to test my blood sugar.

To me, Steve Irwin's death is a reminder that everybody's life is an enigma, and that we are not here to rate others, only to improve ourselves. I was quick to dismiss Irwin as a numbskull nutcase who got what he deserved—until I looked at myself and realized that I am certainly no paragon of wise living. Something tells me that the ebullient, passionate, adventurous-to-the-end Mr. Irwin was too busy living to pass judgment on how others spent their time. That—and not his risk-taking excesses—could be the real lesson of his death—a lesson we all could learn."
- Excerpt from article on Steve Irwin's death

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