Why do we do what we do?

Monday evening, after the kids went to bed, I sat on the couch watching “Terminator” immersing myself in my weekly paranoia about machines one day bringing an end to humanity. The gist of this episode, like the films, put the basic humanness of its otherwise innocent characters on a bleak collision course with a war of extinction with “the machines.” The future looks bleak indeed.

But this episode had too much dialogue, too much weeping; no car chases, no gun fights. I quickly lost interest.

I wandered the web on my MacBook when I stumbled accross a BBC story of a former Swiss miltary pilot crossing the English channel with a rocket strapped to his back. I watched the video. I watched in silence as he jumped from a plane in Calais, France, and zipped off into the blue. I watched as he blasted past onlookers and chase planes. I watched as he deployed his parachute and landed in Dover, England, with nothing more than a stumble.

No threats, no deaths, no terror, no markets collapsing, no war, no hospital waiting rooms, no polution. Just one man, with a a rocket strapped to his back leading by example.

This story fills me with hope. There are yet a few hope-filled heros who do not become distracted from their focus; no obstacle clouds their pursuit of an ideal; no risk is unmanaged.

“I’m not worried about risk, I manage risk”, he said. What a profound confidence.

Yves Rossy landed safely. He valued risk, he measure it, planned for it, managed it … and landed it. I admire his achievement. I admire his desire to see a future in which we fly “a little bit like a bird.” I admire his desire to lead humanity forward to do what we have never done before. I admire his lack of paranoia about some undefined chance of failure. I admire his unflinching focus on success.

Next week, when I sit down to watch “Terminator,” it’ll be a bit easier to remind myself that a bleak future is fiction. Human fulfillment is possible if we do what we do with love, with joy, and with faith. Yves Rossy is “down to earth” by reminding us we are called to the stars.

“Flight of the Jet Man,” airs again on Friday October 3rd on National Geographic Channel(US). Can anyone find out when(if) it’s on in Canada?

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12 thoughts on “Why do we do what we do?

  1. Pingback: CassiMyshak » Blog Archive » It’s a scary world today!

  2. kmarsh

    I personally have never watched Terminator so I would not know what you mean when you say they explore that the future is a bleak place. I do, however, agree that we can be hopeful an fulfill what we need to do if we have heroes to guide us.

  3. ashleegee

    One morning when I was getting ready for school, I heard about the “Flight of the Jet Man”. Personally, I would not be able to do any form of death defying stunts like this! I have a phobia of heights, and would never be able to accomplish such a stunt. Yves Rossey – the Jet Man – Must have plenty of courage saved under his belt because it really is a wonder how a man could have such intrepidity.

  4. twilson

    I just watched the video myself and that is just incredible how determined and confident he is. It is inspiring how he only focused on success, and did not even think of the possibilities of something terrible happening to him.

  5. jtimpano

    After reading your post it made me realize that Yves Rossy is very brave. He should be very proud to be the first one to cross the English Chanel on a jet pack. I am sure that people all over the world will be looking up to him. Heroes are very important in this world.

  6. apoliakiwski

    I have never watched the movie Terminator, but watching the video myself was just incredible of how he was so determined and confident he was. I wouldn’t be able to cross the English channel with a rocket strapped to my back. I am terrified of heights and it just would scare me too much.

  7. apoliakiwski

    The whole main point about this article is that without having courage I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything in my life. I need to take steps of courage every morning and believe that I will succeed.

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  10. thines

    I have watched every “Terminator” movie many times and I believe they are all awesome. The thing that gives me hope is the fact that I have to have faith an to believe in everything I do.

  11. tknudsen

    I have never watched terminator before, therefore I would not be able to judge it. Though I have to say that I would be scarred of heights. I do have a lot of courage in myself and I am always trying to do my best everyday.

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