In the UK we are perhaps spoilt for choice when it comes to asking for help. We have the Social Services, Mountain Rescue, Debt Advice, as well as the typical services you would expect to have at the end of the phone whenever you dial 999, namely police, fire and ambulance.
However are these services always required, and should they ever be withdrawn from those who ignore advice from the professionals?
Over the past few winters in particular, the UK, (as has several other countries,) experienced particularly wet winters and dry summers. The former creates massive waves which are quite a spectacle to watch, and draw photographers from far and wide to capture the immense power of the sea. The latter creates weather where there is no greater feeling (so I’m told) to go swimming in a reservoir.
Despite the numerous warnings from the police, and other authorities that are broadcast in every type of media, there are still people who do not follow the warnings given.
Other examples include people who refuse to leave their homes when advised to do so as a result of flooding, insist in climbing up mountains in weather which is particularly treacherous, or decide to engage in sports that have a particular high level of danger associated with them.
Yes in some cases, the people are genuinely ill-informed, or worse still, minors, and so are unable to be fully responsible for their actions. However those which are, often partake in such activities knowing full well that help is often only one call away.
However what does this help consist of?
In the case of those who attend 999 calls, they are highly trained people, often with families of their own, however more often than not, mountain rescue and the coast guard (RNLI for instance) are volunteers. People who not only have families and loved ones of their own, but are doing a hazardous job purely on a voluntary basis.
Regardless of whether they are paid or not, should they risk their lives to help people, who, to not put too finer point on it, were given an appraisal of the risks, and chose to ignore them?
As a moral society, who looks after one another, the answer should be yes, however according to Charles Darwin, the answer should be a resounding no, with the result being that only the strong will survive. The only difference is that Darwinism only measured the physical advancement, not the mental advancement. Surely, however this is negated by giving people the ability to make an informed decision as to the risks they undertake?
One could live a very boring life, go to work, come home again, with the most exciting element being opening a packet of crisps without checking to see what the flavour is, or one could choose to be more adventurous.
Surely if you choose to risk your life, or do something against the advice of the experts you should accept the consequences should anything happen, and not rely on others to risk their lives to save you from something which is preventable.