Sunday, May 25, 2008

Because it's there

Stephanie is curious why Eric travels so much.


Stephanie: Why do you train so hard?

Eric: To make me strong.

Stephanie: Why do you need to be strong?

Eric: To climb mountains and go to the pole.

Stephanie: And why do you need to climb mountains?

Eric: Because they’re there.

Stephanie: Why do you have to go to Antarctica?

Eric: Because I’ve never been.

Stephanie: Couldn’t you be more specific?

Eric: I could, but my answers would reveal me in an even worse light. This way, I remain merely an enigma.



We are often asked why we do things. We can be clear, if the answer is easily given and does not invite a challenge. Or we can be evasive if we are not sure of the answer or if we think our answer will show us in a bad light.

George Mallory made the response “Because it’s there” famous when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. Perhaps he was being enigmatic.

Eric may be edgily hedging as he racks his brains to provide a justification for his travels. In cryptically saying “Because they’re there,” he may be buying a little time to justify his large carbon footprint caused by his frequent flying.


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