Honorary Unsubscribe

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Risk-taking philosopher

Anne Dufourmantelle

Born in Paris, Dufourmantelle was a philosopher, and wrote about risk. “Absolute security — like zero risk — is a fantasy,” she said; risk is an important part of achievement. “When there really is a danger that must be faced in order to survive, for example during the Blitz in London, there is a strong incentive for action, dedication, and surpassing oneself.” In 2011, Dufourmantelle even published a book on the topic, Éloge du Risque (Praise of Risk). People who embrace risk get the most rewards; others shun risk for a “supposedly all-protective” security, and “Today, we desire this over-protection.” Yet “Being alive is a risk. Life is a metamorphosis and it begins with this risk.” Dufourmantelle clearly lived her philosophy: on July 21, she was on the French Riviera and saw two children floundering in the Mediterranean Sea. She immediately went into the water to save them — but struggled in the same undertow that was endangering the children. She drowned; the children were saved by on-duty lifeguards. Dufourmantelle was 53.

From This is True for 23 July 2017


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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