Photo Prayer 2021-35 -- Lucky To Be Alive

Any male over the age of 30 is lucky to be alive. This belief of mine is untested and unverified, but most guys have an innate desire for adventure. Added to that is a need to prove to themselves that they have what it takes to be a man, an overpowering impulse to show their buddies they aren’t chicken, and a primal urge to attract female attention by outlandish displays of devil-may-care bravado. Pray for them! Pray, too, for foolish young seekers who race ahead before they see where the Spirit will lead them, who are eager to show they are true believers, who are more than ready to have their faith tested, and who hope to attract God’s attention by their dare-devil bravado. God help us!

Photo of a man diving into Saint Peter’s Quarry, Pennsylvania, June 8, 2014.
Nine days later, an injured diver was airlifted to a local hospital. He was 39 years old!
Image copyright 2014; text, 2021 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Donna wrote:
So true!! 😆 great post and photo as always! 🙌🙌🙌👍

Julie wrote:
Nice meditation on the frail reasons for human behavior. You hit the nail on the head with every sentence. The picture is perfect!

[DANNY REPLIED: Thanks, Donna and Julie! As a male, I still take chances, but now that I am older and wiser, I take chances with writing instead of leaps off of cliffs. A safer way to impress the ladies.]

Dennis C. Darling wrote:
When I was given the last name of “Darling’, I came with lifetime dispensation from having to participate in any macho, foolhardy adventures or sports. [DANNY REPLIED: I did not have that dispensation and was a rail-thin scrawny terribly shy kid. I practiced invisibility. Gradually, I got to be less shy, and eventually became outgoing and verbose. You and I met each other well after that transition.]

Sybil wrote:
Lucky. Indeed! As a mother of 3 sons, I can attest to the truth of that, data or no data! [DANNY REPLIED: Thanks for the confirmation! I have trotted out my thesis to several guys and gotten back some hair-raising stories about their near-death experiences.]

Hugh wrote:

John wrote:
I like the two devil references and wondered whether there might be some reason for how you use each. I looked up origin of devil-may-care and found this quote: “As for the origin and meaning of ‘devil-may-care,’ it seems that the phrase stands as a sort of general antithesis to the speaker’s own outlook. Here, the phrase may have originated as part of a longer phrase; some cite examples like ‘The devil may care; I certainly don’t.’ The phrase is also similar to another that uses a rather similar idea: when English speakers say ‘devil take the hindmost,’ the idea is that no one wants to be last. For example, when someone says ‘They took to the street, away from the scene of the fire, devil take the hindmost,’ the idea is that everyone ran away quickly, not wanting to be left behind.” [DANNY REPLIED: “Devil-may-care” is an odd expression since it means the person does not care and is reckless. As for being last, predator animals chase herds and attack the slowest and weakest, often those running last. Do you know the joke about the two men who see an angry grizzly bear coming towards them and the one man stops to put on his running shoes?]

James wrote:
You allude to the irrational but in-common to enough men to be notable. This must be genetic, heritable just as observable in emergent behavior across the spectrum of other species. Reciprocally I understand it to be the case that some (many – all?) young female humans feel a powerful pull to the dangerous male – perhaps another emergent behavior? Wonder how this does, or does not, contribute to a positive evolutionary trend? One thing to note is that, from that evolutionary point of view, males are very expendable. Mostly used throughout history as cannon fodder. And, after performing the necessary act, in later life to sit, drink coffee or whatever, argue and sit some more, then keel over. Danny I am just playing with the extensions of your lovely prayer. Many – pray most – of us men have transcended “nature” in our better culture. [DANNY REPLIED: My concern is for those young men who have not yet transcended “nature”. In Walter Mosley’s 2020 book, “Trouble Is What I Do”, the hero encounters a tempting woman, a “woman whose eyes follow you down into your dreams,” and says to himself, “I … understand why young men put their lives on the line in everything from gangbanging to mountain climbing, from riding the roofs of subway cars to marching off to war.” — page 104.]

Tom wrote:
I read the print under the photo about the 39-year-old injured diver. The bravado complex you describe is perhaps worse for guys turning 40.

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