Viewing close ups of the chins of competitors in the 2014 Skeleton event – a mere two inches above ground as they mimicked human bullets shooting head-first, 90 mph, down ice-paved half-tunnels – even die-hard Winter Olympics fans found themselves asking “Are they nuts?”
And guarantee if you strapped someone from the 18th century in the passenger seat as you drove 80 mph down a freeway, or flew 300 mph 30,000 feet above ground, they would ask the same about you.
Whether someone is deemed as heroic or crazy has little to do with their actions and everything to do with perspective. Perspective permits humans to pin medals on soldiers dropping bombs on villages and label mentally-ill children shooting up classrooms “monsters”. Perspective inspires care and compassion for people with cancer and justifies condemnation and incarceration for those suffering the disease of addiction.
Here’s the catch….unless someone has somehow figured out how to be the exception to all creation, she is always doing the best within her circumstances ….given her capacities and respective challenges.
Admittedly tough to remember when a gun is pointed at your head ….or upon learning a loved one is dead.
The veil that separates one human being from another is never more seductive than when it appears to protect, nor ever more blinding.
So where does such knowing leave us?
Exactly where we are, each of us learning to ride this skeleton of a body we have been given, a skeleton that – with only the rarest exception – is hard-wired to love self and others. Some of us winning Olympic medals, others struggling simply to make it through another day, but each of us appreciative of care, coaching, and encouragement along the way.