What Nik Wallenda Teaches Us About Everyday Life

Nik Wallenda walking the wire, photo courtesy if Wikipedia.

Nik Wallenda walked a wire across the Grand Canyon without a net a few days ago. Why didn’t he use a net like he did when crossing Niagara Falls? The answer is that his sponsor, The Discovery Channel, didn’t require a net and Wallenda prefers working without one. He claims that a net encourages a false sense of security, cockiness, increasing the possibility of death because nets don’t always save lives.

Ordinary people face a similar decision when riding a bicycle where about 70% of bicyclists in the USA and Chile wear helmets compared to fewer than 10% in Europe. The huge difference is due to government propaganda; European governments claim that bicycling is safe and head injuries uncommon while other governments urge helmet use and claim that Europeans should be incarcerated in mental institutions. Most people trust their government but I suggest that you think for yourself as governments can be more interested in pleasing factions than in your welfare, and even when they care about you, they are often incompetent, giving bad advice. One European described long ago when the average person was familiar with more words and could read longer sentences than today, of this tendency in adults in democracies viewing governments as parental providers of sage advice:

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances – what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things: it has predisposed men to endure them, and oftentimes to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned them at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

Why do people today only understand short sentences using a small vocabulary compared to the above passage written in the 1830’s? Perhaps because most people attend schools operated or heavily regulated by governments that stupify education and create Ideocracies. What would it be like to be frozen and awaken in 2113 as the smartest person in the world?

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