[VIEWPOINT]Who dares, winsSteve Fosset, who turns 60 this year, is a billionaire. Yet he doesn’t mind risking his life to beat his own world record for the longest solo nonstop circumnavigation of the world set last year.
Fosset took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Wednesday and plans to span the globe for three and a half days nonstop, traveling a total of 43,443 kilometers (27,000 miles), taking him over the Atlantic twice before landing at Kent International Airport in Britain, near London. This dangerous and solitary venture will leave him with hardly any sleep for three and a half days.
Fosset set the world record last year for the longest continuous solo flight without refueling, in a trip that spanned the globe and covered 37,000 kilometers in 67 hours and two minutes. He also successfully completed the first solo flight around the world in a hot air balloon in 2002, and in 2004 set an international record for sailing around the world in a yacht in only 58 days.
The reason this billionaire keeps going on adventures is not because he has a lot of money and wants to boast of it by spending profusely. He says he has another reason to risk his life: He wants to exploit the “gold mine of potentiality” within him, and spread a social “virus of challenge and adventure.” He continues to pierce his thigh with an awl called adventure to be aware of himself, when he could just as easily live a comfortable life. By risking his life, he is roaring this message with all his body and life at our time and generation, that have lost their sense of challenge and adventure: “A society that has lost adventure has no future.”
We lost the word “adventure” a long time ago. It has come to the point where the only place we can see the word “adventure” is in a theme park. People young and old, men and women alike, never seem to seek out adventures. No one tries to do anything if it carries even the slightest risk, while secretly we comfort ourselves by saying that we have not failed.
Martina Navratilova, an international tennis star who came back after seven years of retirement and won the Wimbledon Cup in double matches, said, “Things you don’t try are included as failures.” “Comeback after retirement” in itself was an adventure for Navratilova, but she still daringly took the venture and was able to tap more of her “gold mine of potential” as a result.
A tablet called, “The 10 commandments of choosing a job,” hangs at the back of the hall in Geochang High School, South Gyeongsang province. The tablet states the following: 1. Choose a job with the lower salary. 2. Choose a job that needs me, not one that I want. 3. Choose a job that has nearly no chance of promotion. 4. Avoid a job with excellent conditions but start off at a job like a wasteland. 5. Do not choose a job everybody competes to get. 6. Go to a place that seems to have no future. 7. Go to a place where you cannot expect social respect. 8. Do not go to the center but to the edge. 9. A job that parents and wives are against is a sure thing. Go without hesitation. 10. Go to a place where a scaffold awaits, not a crown. In short, the point is not to choose the easy and comfortable path but to go on an adventure.
Life is up to the person who dares to risk it. Let’s risk our lives. Let’s take adventures. A life without adventure is death. A society without adventure has no future. Let’s stop wasting our lives by trying to find an easy way out by using our brains, but take up challenges and risk dangerous adventures. The road of life opens up in front of adventure. In this respect, here is a passage on adventure:
“Laughing in front of people is taking the risk of looking like a fool. Getting closer to people is taking the risk of being deceived by them. Loving is taking the risk of not being loved back. Trusting is taking the risk of being disappointed. Working hard is taking the risk of failure. Ventures need to be taken. Because people who do not venture may be able to avoid momentary pain and sadness, but they cannot feel, change, develop, love or truly succeed.”
* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Chung Jin-hong