Michael Reardon was a highly-respected professional free solo climber, which meant that he made very difficult ascents—normally accomplished by teams of climbers helping each other with extensive equipment—without the use of ropes, harnesses, and other protective gear. Using only his physical strength, climbing ability, and courage, he succeeded in being the first to solo climb a number of notable peaks and rock faces. He was also a filmmaker, motivational speaker, writer, and law school graduate.
In July 2007 he completed the descent of a treacherous cliff on Valentia Island—off the coast of Ireland—and was standing on a ledge ten feet above the ocean. While he was celebrating his accomplishment with outstretched arms—and while a friend was filming him—a wave crashed over him and swept him into the sea. His body was never recovered.
How ironic that a man who had so thoroughly prepared himself to conquer some of the most dangerous places on earth was killed by an unforeseen event—an event that even a small child could have avoided simply by staying far from the water's edge.
In a similar way, every day I see people who have prepared themselves to succeed in education, science, business, and so on, only to be swept from their feet and drowned by events and situations they were completely unequipped to handle. I once knew a man possessed of dazzling intelligence, who had made significant contributions in his professional field—for which he was both revered and well paid. But with a single sentence or act his wife or children could throw him into fits of rage and frustration, drowning him in the depths of misery.
It's often the dangers we fail to see that cause us the greatest harm, precisely because we fail to see them and prepare for them. Most of us have never been taught the true roots of happiness, nor have we been educated in the pursuit of love and genuine peace. Thus ill-equipped, we stagger through life, subject to whatever wind or wave might knock us down.
But we don't have to live our lives on unsteady feet. We can learn to see and thus avoid the mistakes—our lies, anger, victimhood, running, and so on—that carry us to the edge of the crashing sea. We can learn how to find the Real Love that will give us firm footing, safe travels, and great joy.
Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.
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