The Audacious Risk Taker Theory

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You’ve seen it on TV and elsewhere. Young men ride bulls in the rodeo, a young woman jumps off a skyscraper with a parachute, a diver swims with a great white shark.  Are these people just Audacious Risk Takers, or is there a survival advantage to being who they are?  Also, could this be relevant to the type of survival scenarios that Preppers worry about?

What could possibly be the benefit of taking big risks in times of trouble?  It’s hard to say, as the vast majority of people today haven’t been put in that situation. Since humans have existed, the most daring individuals probably instilled awe in the rest of the tribe. The respect gained from (successful) risk taking made these young men and women desirable as mates, and the Audacious Risk Taker gene lived on.

I don’t have a lot of scientific proof to back this theory. Researchers, however, have done studies of the A.R.T. (Audacious Risk Taker). In these studies, they gave people a series of images of young men diving off cliffs, base jumping, etc.  These people, from both modern and primitive cultures, were then polled. When asked to describe the young men in question, most gave similar descriptions to the daring souls:  These guys must be large, strong, unpredictable, and even a little dangerous.  In other words, not someone you’d want to trifle with.

Therefore, in the uncertain future, It’s quite possible that the A.R.T. may take his/her place in the leadership of survival groups (that is, if they don’t get killed first).  Their willingness to act will naturally move them into that position; in a survival setting, the rest of the population will be shocked into paralysis. Those that are unafraid to act will likely be those that lead.

This could be a good thing, but only if the Audacious Risk Taker tempers his/her enthusiasm with sound judgment and a thorough knowledge of the risks taken. These characteristics don’t always come in the same package, so wise counsel (probably from the medic!) will increase the groups’ chances for survival.

Let’s take an analogy involving the closure of an open wound. Sound judgment and the willingness to take quick action must be balanced, to rightly determine whether a wound should be closed or not. If you rush to action, you might lock in an infection that could kill your patient.  If you fail to act at all, the same result may occur.

Like it or not, one day your survival group may be led by the Audacious Risk Taker. He/She might lead you to triumph or to ruin.  If you don’t have the A.R.T. gene, make sure you have the S.J. (Sound Judgment) gene.  You may not appear scary to others, but you might just succeed, even if everything else fails.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones


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