Avoiding all risk is no way to live

When I heard last week's news story about the capture of Allan Schoenborn, suspected of killing his three children in Merritt, I felt a real lift in my mood.

Of course I was glad to hear the person likely responsible for this tragic crime had been apprehended, but there was something about the story of his capture by local hunter Kim Robinson I found particularly uplifting.

As I continued to watch the news coverage of this event, it seemed I was not alone in my feelings. Many people were expressing a similar reaction and this caused me to stop and consider what it was about this story that was so positive.

First, Mr. Robinson presented himself in a very humble manner when speaking with reporters. He didn't boast about locating and capturing the fugitive and didn't do any needless Rambo-esque posturing either.

Instead, Mr. Robinson was straight forward and matter-of-fact in his recounting. As a hunter, comfortable with the area and his skills, he had confidence in his ability to track someone in the bush.

When someone flagged him down and tipped him off about the likely whereabouts of the fugitive, Mr. Robinson didn't hesitate to take action. Instead of calling the police immediately, Mr. Robinson decided to first look into the situation to be sure it was the right person.

As he speaks to reporters, Mr. Robinson doesn't appear to have felt much fear in this situation, he simply located the man, held him at bay and called the police to apprehend him. He also doesn't feel a need to tell the story with a lot of embellishments or expressions of hatred or disgust toward the apprehended suspect who he described as being in poor physical shape after 10 days on the run.

I think what I liked so much about this story is Mr. Robinson's quiet self-confidence and practical, no-nonsense approach. He saw something that needed to be done, knew he was equipped to do it and so he did.

In our age of bureaucracy, this kind of approach has become all too rare and there always seems to be a reason why people can't solve problems directly. Solutions to many of our problems are often obvious, but we are told not to act without a permit or some other form of bureaucratic authorization, which wastes time and removes the ability of being personally involved in a solution.

I'm sure some will say Mr. Robinson could have been injured or killed, that he took unnecessary risk and should have left things to the authorities. But I think it is his approach that makes this a feel good story. Mr. Robinson took care of things himself with no fuss, no paperwork and no vigilante justice either. He simply went out with his trained dog and a gun and found the person everyone was looking for.

Nor did he expect a hero's parade when all was said and done. Mr. Robinson was the first to modestly say he had not done anything heroic but had simply done what anyone else would have in his situation. He is wrong there, 99 in a 100 people would not have done what he did and I think that is another reason this story is appealing.

Of course there was some risk involved in Mr. Robinson's actions. He didn't know what shape the fugitive would be in or whether he had a weapon. But he did know his way around the bush, had experience tracking and subduing large animals and was armed with a gun and a trained hunting dog.

In my opinion, there are worse things in life than taking risks. Living in fear is worse. Having no control over your life is worse. Living to avoid all risk is worse.

Mr. Robinson knows this instinctively and in this instance exhibited a disciplined self confidence I find fascinating, refreshing and healthy.

 

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