Wed, 14 Nov 2007

Dying for Pleasure

While I was on a bike ride along the Black River Trail, I heard various loud noises coming from the direction of Fort Drum, just across the river from the old railbed, now a paved trail. Well, it's a paved trail part-way. The pavement and indeed, the trail itself, just stops in the middle of nowhere. The reason for that is that a state employee was killed operating a front-end loader while constructing the trail. They basically walked away from the trail at that point. UPDATE 8/08: The trail will be paved soon

I got to thinking about the contrast. On the one side of the river, we have people training to fight a war. Of course they don't mean to give up their life for their country, but that's a risk. On the other side of the river, you have (in essence) a memorial to a person who did give up his life for his county, building a trail for people's pleasure.

Is the one sacrifice to be compared to the other? We all respect the soldier's sacrifice as "the cost of freedom, buried in the ground." And yet should we respect the worker's sacrifice any less? The concept is less grandiose, dying to build a trail. And yet the trail is used for good benefit on a daily basis by the people of the worker's community.

I'm thinking that taking a risk so that you may please the people around you is a risk worth taking. So it just annoys me when I don't get to see the pictures of Chicago that Doc Searls was going to take. In return for what? An immeasureably lowered risk of dying that morning? Fortunately for you, now, nobody tried to stop me when I took this photo of Central Park.

We should take our pleasure when and where we get it and not worry that life is short and people are fragile.

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