Sunday, 1 December 2013

Paul Walker's tragic death reminds us all that life is fragile, and even famous people can't suspend the laws of physics

The 'net is ablaze right now with the news that Paul Walker, Hollywood superstar best known for his role in the Fast and Furious movie series, died in a fiery car crash Saturday. Walker was celebrated as a terrific person but he was also an admitted "adrenaline junkie." While we don't normally cover celebrity news here at Natural News, the fact that we have just entered the holiday season where lots of young people will be tempted to try their own fast-and-furious stunts with the aid of a bit too much alcohol means that there might be important lessons learned from Paul Walker's untimely death.

Walker wasn't driving the car that crashed, by the way. His friend was, and according to reports available so far, alcohol was not a factor in the crash. As CNN reports:

...a red Porsche appeared to have lost control. Deputies arrived at the scene to find a vehicle on fire, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

Once fire crews put the flames out, they found two occupants, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the car and a light pole that had been knocked down.

Sadly, it appears that Paul Walker's friend lost control and whipped the Porche into a light pole, resulting in the vehicle catching fire and killing both occupants.

You can't beat the laws of physics

Beyond the sad loss of a person who inspired so many people through motion pictures, this is also a lesson in wisdom and physics. It turns out that no matter how famous you are, you are still not fireproof. And no matter how much money you earn, you still cannot out-mass something as simple as a large light pole.

Even more importantly, the death-defying vehicular stunts and action sequences that Paul Walker's character lived on screen are, in fact, just smoke and mirrors. Nobody in the real world drives like that and lives to tell about it. At least not for long. And this is part of the deserved criticism of these films: they portray an exciting, sexy and adrenaline-pumping reality that's extremely likely to get you killed if you try it in the real world. Movies can sometimes inspire young people to try incredibly stupid things that end up getting them killed, and the Fast and Furious franchise has no doubt racked up its share of body bags among fans who thought, "Hey, I'm gonna try that with my Corolla!"

That's why it's important to grasp the take-home message from the unfortunate death of Paul Walker: Hey teens and twenty-somethings, driving with high-risk maneuvers really can get you killed. It can even kill your best friend in the seat next to you, and if you really screw up bad, it can kill a family of innocent people in an oncoming lane.

Case in point: I knew a kid in high school who decided he was going to race his Shelby down the highway at 120 mph, by himself, just to see how fast he could go. Unfortunately, his vehicle's tires weren't rated for 120 mph, and he blew one, causing his vehicle to flip end to end across the dividing median and collide with oncoming traffic. He not only ended up smearing his own face across the other car's windshield and decapitating himself; he also managed to kill a young mother and two children at the same time.

Fast and Furious, it turns out, is dangerous and stupid. This holiday season, let Paul Walker's death serve as a reminder that we are all fragile, we are all flesh and bone, and life can be taken from any of us in an instant... especially if we don't exercise a degree of caution in how we move through the world.

This holiday season, take to the streets with a sense of caution -- rather than insanity -- and you just might survive to see 2014.

May Paul Walker rest in peace, and may his memory continue to inspire others to achieve great things.

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