A new kind of action

Eric took this photo from the cockpit of his T-37 while flying in close-trail formation. Too close for comfort!

Eric (at age 20 or 21) took this photo from the cockpit of his T-37 during training,
while flying in close-trail formation. Too close for comfort!

“The defense force inside of us wants us to be cautious, to stay away from anything as intense as a new kind of action.  Its job is to protect us, and it categorically avoids anything resembling danger.  But it is often wrong.”Barbara Sher

I don’t know about you, but just looking at the photo posted above makes me a bit nervous.  I get edgy enough when there’s not a lot of following distance between me and the car just ahead, but an airplane?  No wonder I never became a pilot!

That photo was taken during a crucially important early stage of my brother’s successful and rewarding career in aviation.  There might be a part of him that wonders why he was not more afraid of an adventure so obviously risky, but if you asked him, I imagine he would tell you he has no regrets.  Easy for me to say that in hindsight, knowing that he survived and thrived. If he had not survived pilot training (as more than one of his fellow pilots did not) I might feel quite differently.

But years ago a friend told me something that rang true to me.  He said our worst regrets almost always come from things we left undone, rather than from things we did.  That may not be true in all cases, but looking back over my own life, I feel it’s true for me.

As mentioned in the recent post about Rickenbacker, there’s nothing wrong with being afraid.  Fear can be a healthy and good thing, but it also can hold us back.  Are there any big or little things you’d like to do, that you’re afraid to try?  Could your self-protective instincts be wrong about some of the things you fear?

One year ago today:

Yonder lies the way

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. It’s the sort of photo you’d like to take with a telephoto lens!! (?)

    • Nope. No telephoto. I think this was taken with an old “snapshot” instamatic camera. I think at least one hand would have had to stay on the throttle or other controls. Or the photo, like the pilot, never would have survived.

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