Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outside Hurts

In a scene from the classic Sci-Fi movie "Logan's Run" (which, coincidentally, features a cameo from recently passed, but as then, a yet-to-be famous Farrah Fawcett-Majors) the main characters escape from their indoor mall-like existence to the unknown outdoors--a place they were not allowed and had never been. They become distracted by the beauty of the sky, the trees, and grass and one of the characters runs right into a hanging limb "Ouch," he said, "Outside hurts!!" Well, I have to agree. Walking out the front door into the world can be dangerous business. You could be struck by lightening, bitten by a snake, hit by a car, attacked by a dog, shot in the street, mugged by stranger, contract swine flu...I mean, the possibilities are endless.

Frequently, it feels that the world is a dangerous place. Stepping out your front door makes you vulnerable to countless possibilities of pain. Contemplating the unexpected warrants careful inspection before alighting on the path leading outside your door. Why leave the comfort of your bed when the world only offers the possibilities of some horrid affliction? We can't know the answer because we are compelled to make our way at some point into the outside. It calls and repels at the same time. We know we cannot eliminate the risk...only minimize it's possibilites. So we take the risk, walk out the door, and face the possibilities. The call of the unknown is written in our DNA, right alongside the need to fear it. We long for the new experience while at the same time we weigh the hurt it may inflict. We crave safety, but our genetic code also propels us to stake out new territories and experiences to satisfy the alternate--which is the deadening of our senses. Risk and reward...it is the classic conundrum which has fueled man's adventures for a lifetime.

The characters in Logan's Run were running to escape the danger of life in the bubble. But getting out of bed in the morning, there lingers a prehistoric reminder in our ancestral code... "outside hurts".

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