The things that people do for fun or for money are very numerous today. Some of these things are positively dangerous, but there seems to be no lack of people eager to do them. Bungee-jumping, rock-climbing, and sky-diving are certainly not everybody’s cup of tea. Then there are less dangerous but no fewer exciting pursuits of motor-racing and professional boxing. These are all exciting and dangerous things. Some even earn a living doing these dangerous works. Why would people put themselves in such danger? Would they be considered foolish?
Those who purposely go out to get some excitement are usually those who are bored with their lives. Bungee-jumping is a predominantly western invention and the participants are usually bored westerners who would do anything for some excitement. It needs a certain amount of guts to be able to jump off a bridge only to be saved from certain death by a piece of rubber cord attached to one’s legs. There were cases where the cord failed and the thrill-seekers perished. Yet the others persist. I suspect these others are not only bored with their lives. They could be unconsciously looking to either end their boredom or their lives. In short, they could have suicidal tendencies. Would people bent on killing themselves be called foolish?
Rock-climbers and sky-divers also take enormous risks. Death resulting from accidents are not uncommon, but people continue to do them. I asked a friend who does rock-climbing why he pursued such a dangerous sport. He said every time he reached the top of a rock; the feeling of excitement and achievement was quite incomparable. It is intoxicating and he is hooked by it. So, he seeks to repeat the high, despite the obvious risks.
I suppose this exciting feeling holds true for the other unpaid dangerous sports as well. They get the adrenalin flowing through the blood. These excitement-seekers are obviously addicted to it. The only thing they get out of their pursuits is excitement, which has to be repeated. No other gain is forthcoming except for some respect from others. Perhaps respect is also an exciting thing for some.
The professionals who take area risks are far better off than the amateur ones in terms of financial rewards. Race-drivers are usually millionaires. So are boxers. Also, these professionals are well covered by insurance and they do not take unnecessary risks. In fact, they are very careful indeed in their work.
In conclusion, I would say that amateurs who look only for excitement and danger are foolish because they stand to gain nothing and to lose everything. They are putting their heads on the chopping block for the sheer thrill of it. The professionals are different. They get paid and make sure that their necks are well padded. Thus, they are not as foolish, not by a long shot.