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The Forum > Article Comments > It's elementary about Watson > Comments

It's elementary about Watson : Comments

By Nina Funnell, published 20/5/2010

Working towards and achieving a personal goal is a commendable act. Jessica Watson will inspire many young people.

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Good on her. Sure there may be risks, but the result is worth it.
Millions take similar risks every year by eating badly and never exercising. This behaviour has no reward yet the insurance industry ensures we all pay. That is just life in a more crowded world.
The corporate execs that continue to receive obscene "bonus" wages that are more than some peoples' lifetime earnings are also the recipients of public welfare...yes, the government used taxpayer funds to prevent (delay) the ponzi banks from collapse and this represents a huge gift from the people to a very few...I'd say the return on investment for Jessica's adventure is better for everyone.
I can't see this "youngest sailor" thing going any further though. Imagine a 14 year old going for it.
Posted by Ozandy, Thursday, 20 May 2010 8:52:08 AM
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The problem here is that most people wouldn't know one end of a yacht from the other and most people have never been out in the ocean in a small craft. These people think that because Jessica had some electronic gear on board that Jessica took no risks, that because she had a backup team, she was always safe and really didn't do much. Nothing could be further from the truth.

She spent 7 months on her own having to deal with everything that the ocean threw at her and that was plenty. Storms, huge Southern Ocean swells, knockdowns were her lot. She had little sleep because of the fear of being run down by cargo ships, she had gear failures, she had moments of great fear when I'm sure she wished she was back safely at home. And she was sixteen, still a child!

So, to all the armchair knockers, let me say how mean-spirited you are and how ignorant you are. Jessica's achievement was remarkable and her statement that 'she wasn't a hero but just a girl who had a dream' elevates her far above her detractors.

We need more icons like her!
Posted by David G, Thursday, 20 May 2010 9:08:07 AM
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Jessica had a very good boat that was well fitted, and on most days it was probably safer than travelling in a car. Still, I have done solo sailing and I know that every move has to be thought through and planned out beforehand, because there is no one else to help.

She seems to know that. Well done Jessica.

Fantasique.
Posted by vanna, Thursday, 20 May 2010 9:37:33 AM
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Hear! Hear!

DavidG

You summed up my thoughts perfectly.
Posted by Severin, Thursday, 20 May 2010 9:50:55 AM
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Nina,

I made a very similar point to the blogger you quote.
I would add that we in Australia have an almost primal need for sporting heroes at the expense of years real commitment those who work day after day doing the above and beyond for the good of others.
To me that is a far more worth while activity than self actualization dilettante actions of some young woman.

I am pleased for her sake but to describe her as a inspiration/role model et al is wishful thinking at best.

I challenge any one to prove that her actions will inspire any child who needs inspiring.
My experience at the coal face tells me that those who *need* inspiration won't get it from a girl who has exposure to yachts and expensive sailing lessons and a father who organised $600k sponsorship. The advantages Jessica has/had puts her beyond the reach of most. She's pretty, articulate, photogenic, well educated in an upwardly mobile family, those advantages alone preclude many of those who need inspiration.

She is a middle class parental warm and fuzzy aspiration for their daughters media hype but the children themselves....I'm not so convinced.

She is set for a career in endorsements and perhaps racing yachts. Just what we need! Another celebrity and perhaps an expensive gold medal.....meanwhile in the real world.....

In truth Those extra ordinary achievers will achieve against the odds. A true inspiration is someone who had to fight or work extra to get the *opportunity* to excel.

Good on Jessica for her self but inspiration to others ..I don't think so.
Posted by examinator, Thursday, 20 May 2010 9:53:04 AM
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Nina,
I also forgot to mention that it is accepted fact that the human brain judgement area, on average, doesn't mature untill around 25.
I put it to you that Jessica's actions were the cumulative result of opportunity, advantages and favourable genetics. All of which removes her from the realistic realms of the average and those who *need*
inspiration.

All the inspiration in the world won't compensate for the above trifecta if they are missing.

For example look at who gets the accolades/money/promotion then consider the the winners who don't.

Sorry but the world isn't as simple, straight forward as we choose to make media darlings.
Posted by examinator, Thursday, 20 May 2010 10:06:32 AM
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