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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 1998 8:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
I recently had this discussion with a friend
of mine and I thought I would share this
with you for those how like to think about
these things ... no need to reply but
feel free to as well.

I hope you enjoy it!


Instructions. Do question #1 before skipping
ahead to read the commentary or question #2.

#1) You are in a small boat when you are
suddenly swept up into a massive whirlpool.
It quickly becomes obvious that your boat is
going be smashed to pieces and you will be
killed. The whirlpool is immensely strong,
attempting to row out of it will not work.
Would you:

a) attempt to row out of the whirlpool
anyway... better to struggle until the end
even if it is in vain.

b) do nothing. Simply sit down and await
your fate.

c) jump out the boat into the whirlpool
meaning certain death.

Make a choice and determine your reason for
doing it.

Do not read below until you have finished
part #1. Do #2a) if you choose a), #2b) if
you choose b), #2c) is you choose c).

#2a) If you choose a) above. What do you
think about the other choices? Is a person
who chooses c) a fool for killing
themselves, or brave for facing death head
on? What about a person who chooses b), are
they brave to be calm in the face of certain
doom, or foolish for not taking some action,
even c)?

#2b) If you choose b) above. What do you
think about the other choices? Is a person
who chooses a) wasting their time
struggling against the inevitable, why not
enjoy your last moments in peace? Is a
person who chooses c) simply speeding up the
process of fate, or are the brave for trying
to take control of it?

#2c) If you choose c) above. What do you
think about the other choices? Is a person
who chooses a) a fool for allowing the
whirlpool to maintain control over them
through fear, or are the brave for not giving
in? Is a person who chooses b) the ultimate
fool for not trying at all, or is there
wisdom in allowing the universe to take its


A person who chooses a) will not accept
defeat. Better to fight the hopeless cause
then to not fight at all.

A person who chooses b) is a realist or a
fatalist. If he is meant to live he will,
otherwise he will die. In either case, this
is out of his hands and he will not consume
himself with worry over something out of his

A person who chooses c) will not allow
outside forces controlling is life. If he
is die, this is fine, it is meant to be, but
it will be from his hand and from his choice.

Does reading the commentary make you want to
change you mind? Does the commentary match
how you think of yourself?

With regards to question #2, does reading the
commentary give you an understanding of how
others can view a solution with a manner
completely foriegn to you, but equally
correct and brave in its own way? Ask
yourself this, if three men were in the boat,
and each choose to one of the three choices,
which would be the bravest? Who would you
consider to be the coward? Is it fair to
label any of them as brave or cowardly?

[This message has been edited by Jason Bernard (edited 10-15-98).]

[This message has been edited by Jason Bernard (edited 10-15-98).]

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 1998 1:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Thanks for posting this Jason. I enjoyed discussing it with my co-workers(family business, so it was my cousin and brother). We each chose a different course of action or inaction. BTW, no one thought any choice was cowardly.



PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 1998 12:17 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 18, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 619
How intriguing, Jason. I found myself struggling for the "perfect" answer, knowing, of course that each action or non-action would have its own particular set of consequences. I ended up chosing "c", figuring I'd go with the axiom, "today is a good day to die."

Is this your quiz? May I pass on the quote?

Thanks, JAO

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 1998 3:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2
Location: Evansville, IN, Canada
Osu Jackie!

I very much encourage anybody to use anything
that I submit on this or any other forum
as a quote. I think the sharing of ideas
openly is the best thing we as people, and
we as martial artists can do (it truly is
a shame that there is so much
fighting between styles because we can learn
so much from each other in what we do and
don't do). If anything is going to be
submitted to a commerical publication I would
love being informed by email just so that
I can go and look it up.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 1998 1:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
By the way, as to "Is this my quiz?". It
is a heavily modified version of something
I read a long time ago about how we face
death. The original article presented
the scenario only and two of the options
(a & b). Everything else (option c, question
#2, and the commentary) was added by me.
The original author of the quiz is unknown.

As to my answer (it seems only fair that
I share it), I choose c). My reason is
simply "Why fight fate, when you can create
your own." Dying doesn't bother me, even
in the face of futility. Being out of
control does. If I am to die, it will be by
my hand, and by my choice!

On the other hand, I greatly respect somebody
who chooses b). To be able to be totally
serene in the face of fate itself must
be a nice gift. And there is no denying the
strength of heart and soul of the a)-type.
They believe in miracles, something that
requires more heart than I have at this time.


P.s. - Of all the people I have asked this
quiz my results have been:

a) 7
b) 1
c) 3

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