People have been going over Niagara Falls in barrels for years. During the past century a Frenchman named Blondin decided that he’d show the world real courage. «I’m going to walk across the falls,» he announced.True to his word, he strung a wire over the gorge, picked up a balance bar, and ambled over the falls. He bounced, ran, danced a jig, turned a few somersaults, and returned to thunderous applause. The next year Blondin decided to be a little more «show biz,» so he walked out to the middle of his line, sat down, and cooked himself a lunch on a small stove. Then he held his hat out at arm’s length while someone below shot a hole through it. It all greatly impressed the crowd.
«Who will allow me to carry them across the falls?» he asked when he reached the bank. When no one responded, he turned to Colcord, his publicity man. The man smiled weakly. How would it look if the one who wrote all of those glowing press releases refused to take part in the stunt? So the two started out. Soon Blondin began to falter. This idea wasn’t as good as he thought. Poor Colcord had to slip down onto the wire and stand trembling while Blondin rested. They finally reached the other side safely.
Blondin proved he was courageous. But did his bravado make the world a better place in which to live? No. True courage is a young person saying no to drugs or sticking by a friend in need. It is refusing to bend to peer pressure and holding firm to your beliefs. The rest is just «show biz.»