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The Value Of Free Fall Essay

984 words - 4 pages

I am at most times a practical thinker. When it comes to my decision making, I first try to observe the practical advantages and disadvantages of what might come from my decision. One event I’ve been fortunate enough to be party to, stands in the face of all practical thought and reason as to why it should be done, but there is reason for it I assure you. What would the practical thinker find most fault with? I would respond, anything that only stands to put one at risk, has no practical advantages, and always provides for a chance of failure. Take these parameters and you have it; jumping out of an airplane. Riding up to around two miles above the ground and jumping out of a rickety old ...view middle of the document...

Perhaps most people would believe that practicality is purely measurable through efficiency models, but the intangible values presented by skydiving surely possess few, if any of them. John Hick, a early 20th century philosopher, perpetuated the idea that that the value of one’s character depends in part on how that character was brought about. More specifically, the human soul is better for having experienced greater trials of adversity. Hick suggests that the soul develops specifically from pushing itself behind previously set boundaries. Skydiving pushes that boundary, and thus develops who we are.
Skydiving is a symbol for many actions that push one past what would be our normal boundaries. For instance, while skydiving is certainly a very dangerous action- the process in itself allowing for an almost infinite number of things to go wrong- when else may one be able to experience the action of complete free fall? As I rode up to the launch zone, a new, heightened level of sense seemed to surround me. The world beneath became a distant landscape of what was once underneath my feet. Seeing this made the world seem simpler, or at least a little calm. That perspective has not left me since. Nor has the heightened level of feeling and clarity. It is by this reasoning that I find value in the extremes of what humans may do.
What is this intrinsic aesthetic property that makes skydiving so valuable. Aesthetic value appeals beyond rationale and ethics and to a sense of purpose that extends to something greater. I like to think of things with aesthetic value as enlightening. Skydiving and actions like it allow for the mind to perceive things differently. Where once I gave most attention to the world around me, the world above me held sway. Life within the boundaries of practicality could never allow for these thoughts. Skydiving can show...

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