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spotting my biases: daredevils

August 30, 2013

Yesterday I watched someone on an ATV do a wheelie on a residential street. The words that first come to my mind when I see those kind of stunts are not flattering. I grew up near a waterway where speedboats upset wildlife and paddle-powered boats. I generally appreciate peace and quiet and see motorised vehicles and toys as a kind of violence that breaks that peace.
Last winter, watching a kid on a skidoo making “rainbows” up a hillside, my first thought was for the vegetation getting chewed up under the thin layer of snow – and then it occurred to me, the kid was practising. People who depend on snow machines to get to food and travel long distances in Arctic winter need confidence and skill to get out of situations that could kill them. Aha! Perception shift!
Now when I see airborne skidoos flying up a hill, my first reaction may still be to cringe. But I can shift quickly to thinking, “Go safely – and may everyone around you be safe, too.”

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