Many people now undertake extreme activities, from hang-gliding to mountain climbing. Why do people risk their lives in this way, and do you think this is a good trend? Give reasons for your answer, and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Recently, I was disturbed to read of a prominent* female cave diver, who drowned upon becoming disoriented deep in a labyrinthine cave system in South Australia.
Such
sad events inevitably raise the question of why people dice with death in extreme activities. After giving one reason, I will argue, perhaps surprisingly, that it is a good trend. The main incentive* for
this
high-risk recreation is the challenge it provides, often seen as one of the core purposes of being alive. The feeling for the human psyche of defying the odds, conquering that fear, or seeing sights never seen before must be extremely gratifying, if not totally rejuvenating, and clearly irresistible to many. Whether hang-gliding, parasailing, or scaling formidable cliff faces, the weekend thrill seekers are merely following an innate urge to live life
by‘cheating
Suggestion
by cheating
by‘ cheating
death’. I would say
this
is a good trend, since
such
activities generate revenue for a wide range of commercial enterprises. These, in turn, provide legitimate* livelihoods and direct economic benefit
to
Suggestion
of
countries. Nepal is a good example, depending heavily on the ambitions of both professional mountaineers and dedicated amateurs to summit the notoriously dangerous Mount Everest. Apart from exorbitant climbing fees,
this
provides employment to hundreds of Sherpa porters and guides. Few could begrudge them
this
ready-made opportunity. Lest I be accused of cynicism, another reason these activities are good is the release they offer from that pressure and banality of life. Most members of modern society are confined to safe and predictable paths, essentially divorced from the natural world. They necessarily lead Thoreau’s ‘lives of quiet desperation’, since
money
Suggestion
the money
must be
earnt
gained or acquired; especially through merit or as a result of effort or action
earned
learnt
earnest
, mortgages met, and children raised. Any escape from
this
mundane existence,
however
short-lived or transitory, must leave people more fulfilled and content, and a society composed of
such
individuals is ultimately a better one.
Submitted by skrangan on

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