Sometimes, fear is a good thing

As a part-time first responder who is interested in emergency management, disaster recovery, and safety in general, I read pretty much everything related to those topics that I can get my hands on, including a lot of stuff about how people respond in a crisis.  It’s fascinating stuff, and some really excellent books have been written about it, such as  Amanda Ripley’s The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – And Why

A side effect of this is that I have started paying attention to what I would call “unusual” deaths and accidents.  People keep doing things that I would consider to be pretty damn unsafe, and it costs them.  Recent examples are plenty.  A man leaves the designated paths at Yellowstone, and falls into a spring that is so high-temperature and acidic that there is literally no body to recover.  A young man accidentally shoots himself while taking a selfie with a pistol.  A tourist in Australia goes swimming at 10 at night in an area clearly marked with signs warning about crocodiles and gets killed by a crocodile over 14 feet long.  Or the guy in Georgia back in March who decided that it would be cool to pack an old lawnmower with 3 pounds of Tannerite and then shoot at it from only 40 feet away.  He blew off his own leg, and the whole thing was caught on video.

And I realized that what all of these people had in common was this: a lack of fear.  Specifically, a lack of what I would consider to be the healthy kind of fear.

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