Spirit of Adventure
Adventure means the act of going out in search of the new and the unknown. In our country the desire for adventure is rare. To do a thing without an ulterior motive is foreign to our nature and temperament. We are an utilitarian people. If we go out on a journey, we do so with some object or business that may bring profit in this world or on a pilgrimage that may bring profit in the world to come. We have records of ancient travellers coming from other countries to India; we do not know of many Indians who travelled in foreign lands in pursuit of knowledge.
There are only faint memories of Indian traders crossing the Bay of Bengal to Indonesian islands. But this is certainly not adventure, pure and unmixed. True adventure lies in facing all the troubles and risks of running after unknown merely for the joy of it. It sends out a challenge to our spirit of heroism. It appeals to our strength of mind. The call of the unknown thrills us and excites us. Is there any risk in trying to remove the evil that keeps something hidden for our knowledge? We will take that risk and bring it within the range of our knowledge. If is the difficulty that lies in the way of discovering the unknown, too great? We will overcome the difficulty and triumph over all the obstacles. That is the spirit. Dangers and difficulties are only the whetstone that sharpens the edge of our endeavour.
The spirit of adventure is essentially of the west. There it is manifested in a variety of ways. People go out mountaineering, or on voyages of exploration, or in the quest of knowledge. So great is this love of adventure in the people of the west that they are not afraid to sacrifice their lives in its pursuit. The snow-capped Himalayas or the ice bound Antarctica or the wilds of Africa or the deserts of Central Asia hold no terror for them. If it is not always, that they go out on these arduous expeditions for the sake of increasing knowledge; often it is a spirit of adventure that impels them. Columbus voyaging across strange and unknown seas or Gagarin hurling into the outer spaces and holding his life in the palm of his hand is a testimony to man’s eternal spirit of adventure.
The spirit of adventure has a great effect on man’s character. It makes a man brave and hardy. It makes him master of his destiny. It teaches him to be bold and yet cautious, enterprising and yet calculating, daring but not foolhardy. He must know how to balance his means against his ends. He must be vigilant and resourceful. An adventurers character goes on all round development. He is a much better man after an adventure than he was before it.
The spirit of adventure has to be fostered. We love life too well to be over-anxious to lose it. Yet it is not perhaps well to love life with a misers greed. It is good to forget about life and death and face risks with courage and boldness. It acts as a tonic and stimulant. It adds a zest to life. It makes life worth-living.