Friday, January 05, 2007

When the Ship Comes In

I listened to Radio 2 on my way back to Cardiff and for a part of the journey I listened open mouthed as numerous people sent in e-mails and made calls criticising this 14-year old boy for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean - yes a 14 -year old sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.

Seriously. People are amazing. Amazing that at 14 they can sail the second largest ocean in the world single-handedly. Amazing that they can criticise this. The criticisms ranged from:

  • "he should have been in school."
  • "what irresponsible parenting for letting him be out there alone."
  • "his Dad was only a mile behind him, it's not really 'single-handed.'"
  • "it's not that impressive."

In response:

- what can school teach at 14 that could be more amazing, educational, confidence building and impressive than sailing across the Atlantic.

- I would say it's the opposite. It's amazing parenting to raise a son who is so able and willing that he is in a position to sail across the Atlantic on his own. It shows strength of character and a willingness to get out there - rather than hanging around on street corners etc. etc. Secondly crossing the Atlantic is hardly any safer with many other people. If you come into difficulty you're in real trouble - if you're 14 or 40 - as this story shows.

- Being a mile behind at sea in a sailing boat is not much help. Any problems that were life threatening would be almost impossible for his Dad to help with - it's not like driving a car.

- not that impressive? Well that is just ridiculous - one of the toughest feats in sailing is a challenge for anyone. But at such a young age is even more impressive.

It just sums up the nature of so many people in our society. Britain just seems to love a loser and anyone who actually achieves anything is deemed as a show-off or arrogant. It's pathetic. I feel this boy deserves every plaudit he gets.

Next time the story on the news is something about a gang of youths mugging an old lady, or happy slapping some random and breaking his nose, it will be the same people who moaned about this boy saying things like, "today's youths are the problem with society today. Why don't any of them do anything with their lives."

Oh well...

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