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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Student Essay - A quiet life can be just as satisfying as an adventurous life – by Ashley Lee Joo Yeon, Year 10, Taylor’s International School

A quiet life can be just as satisfying as an adventurous life – by Ashley Lee Joo Yeon, Year 10, Taylor’s International School

Is your life satisfying but not exciting? Every one of us in this world has their own unique colours. Different people have different personalities and crave for different things. To one person, skiing the Alps or slack-lining in Mount Everest spices up their life. To another, spending their relaxing Sundays on a beach with a cup of tea and some chocolate cookies in their hands give them more contentment. They are content living a quiet and simple life. Therefore, I agree to a large extent that a quiet life can be just as satisfying as an adventurous life.

Firstly, challenges and adventures like extreme sports have a high risk of serious injury. People might never have a normal life again. For instance, BMX dirt rider Stephen Murray, suffered a career-ending injury to his spinal cord and vertebrae and is paralyzed below the shoulders. Murray took a catastrophic fall attempting a double back flip on the final jump but he couldn’t rotate the bike in time and crash-landed on his head, breaking his neck. He now has limited movement in his toes but is gaining more mobility in his hands. However, it still seems impossible for him to recover completely and enjoy his most-loved sports again. Moreover, not only are the injured people irresponsible towards themselves, but they are also irresponsible towards their family. Take Murray for example. He was a father of two young sons. His love for the sport was greater than his love for his family which led his wife and sons to leave him. Thinking about his sons having to live in this cruel world without a father evokes pity. Why start a family when he can’t take responsibility? Thus, living a simple life and finding joy and satisfaction in small things is sometimes better.

Secondly, in order to live an adventurous life, people need to keep their wallets open. Can you imagine leaping off an airplane for a wing-suit flight without a parachute? People need hundreds and thousands of dollars for travelling, training and equipment. For example, high altitude climbing is a very expensive pursuit because of the cost of equipment and services needed to keep a climber alive. Fees include $30,000 for oxygen canisters, special glacier glasses and sleeping bags for freezing temperatures that could cost almost $1000 each. The sport also requires a lead guide and several assistants who cost about $10,000 to $25,000 per person. In addition, people also require money to travel from place to place. For instance, if you live in California and you want to go mountain climbing in Mount Everest, you can’t just go straight to Mount Everest and start climbing. You need money to fly to Nepal and then make your way to Everest base camp. Every single thing requires money. Hence, if you are not a billionaire, an exciting life might be too costly for you.

However, challenging activities build character. Extreme sports can help people to learn how to cooperate with others, working together towards a goal. It also helps people to grow in virtues such as courage, humility and patience. To touch on courage, my cousin used to be really shy and quiet in school. She was the type who couldn’t step forward to speak. However, after trying out bungee jumping, she became a completely different person. She became confident and determined. She felt that if she could bungee jump, she could do anything. Whenever she faced difficulties, she would think of the moment she bungee-jumped. Therefore, such activities push people to go further in life. They motivate people to do more than what they think they can. For instance, when people ski, they gradually progress from the lowest slopes to the steepest ones. People can then apply this process to other aspects of their lives. So, an adventurous life can help people to put one foot in front of the other in their own personal development journey.

In conclusion, I believe that a mixture of both a quiet and an adventurous life is most satisfying. In the end, you are the one, the only one, who will ever live your life. So live it in a richly rewarding way that most satisfies you. It doesn’t matter if it’s boring or reckless as long as you feel gratified. You only live once, so live it in the best way possible!

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