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Stun guns and philosophy

When most people see a headline like that, the first thought that goes through their head is something akin to: “What an idiot!” “Why would you do that?” or maybe “Hey, if that’s your thing.”

It’s always headlines like these, or the video of that guy eating a ghost pepper (which I’ve done as well) on YouTube that makes us think, but never really consider doing it ourselves.

But perhaps maybe that man who got tased knows something you don’t. If you haven’t caught on yet, I am that man.

A couple weeks ago I was at a party with some friends. Jane Doe, who I knew, but wasn’t close friends or anything, was at the party. Somehow in conversation it gets brought up that Jane carries a stun gun around for personal security.

This is where I think my psyche, perspective, whatever you want to call it, may begin to differ from most, or at least that’s what people tell me.

Without hesitation, almost as if it was a reflex, I asked, “Would you be willing to tase me later?” It got some laughs, everyone seemed either to say, “Classic Alec,” or “Really?” It kind of got left at that, but later that night as she was about to leave, I posed the question again.

Jane was a little hesitant, but eventually agreed, and I was tased in the calf, in the middle of the street.



I believe this incident, and many others as well (just ask anyone who knows me well), epitomize my view on life.

Alexis Carrel, who won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1912 said, “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” Although usually applied to weight training today, this maxim can be applied, albeit loosely, to all of life.

Essentially what it’s saying is that man cannot progress without experience. “Suffering” being experience, and “Remak[ing]” being progress. Too many people seem to let fear, social stigma, or whatever it may be get in the way of doing what they wish they could.

Yes I was tased — yes it hurt a lot. But at the same time I can know say I know what it feels like, and I created a pretty funny memory for me and all my friends.

Everything in life is costs and benefits; honestly, in that situation I didn’t really see any costs because I sincerely wondered what it felt like, and that’s hardly the most painful thing I’ve done to my body (that has to go to eating a ghost pepper), but that’s largely just my personality as well.

Now don’t get me wrong: I am by no means saying that you should be peer pressured into something you are uncomfortable with. I asked to be tased, fully understanding the risks, and people tried to talk me out of it.

I’m also not saying you have to do anything as extreme (or un-extreme?) as tasing yourself. All I’m saying is the next time you find yourself in a situation, or an opportunity comes up that you immediately write off, think again.

— Food for thought —


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