This is the most intensely dialogued/debated Friday Reflections of all times. Readers, especially Parents, really got involved in expressing their honest views of the subject; some agreed , the others agreed to disagree and some strongly disagreed. Please read Readers' comments ( #1) from the original publication to appreciate the full dialogue. (originally published January 10, 2013)
POINT TO PONDER
Nothing succeeds like success. -Alexandre Dumas
STORY LINE by Rajiv Shah
Jimmy Chin was like many kids his age heading into college; the prodigal son encouraged to live up to the standards set forth by his loving parents. Jimmy thought he had three choices in life: to be a doctor, lawyer, or a businessman. When he went to Carleton College he majored in International Relations and Asian Studies.
Upon graduation he moved to the bay area and was looking for a job. But he admitted he wasn't passionate about it. His mind was on what he fell in love with growing up and that he fostered while in college - skiing and mountain climbing.
So he told his parents that before going to work he would take a year off and go climbing. Chin would later say that he had fulfilled his parents worst nightmare and after a year it did not end. He decided to keep going, keep climbing and in that time lived in national parks out of his car.
He never went to find that job but lived out of his car and continued to climb for a total of seven years. He found a community of climbers that had the same love for the mountains as he did.
Then on one trip a friend of Chin's bought a camera. He was hoping to take some photos on the mountain that he could sell to magazines. Jimmy Chin took one photo on his roll of photos and it was Jimmy's photo that was purchased for the whopping sum of $500.
Jimmy thought that if he could sell just one photo a month, he could conceivably afford to keep climbing comfortably for the rest of his life. So acquired a camera and started photographing his climbing expeditions, capturing climbing culture and the magnificent terrain that he would face.
Jimmy grew from that initial $500 sale and it was National Geographic that came calling for his services. He became a regular contributor to the publication. Next came North Face, Outside Magazine, and Men's Journal. Chin would be voted as one the most eligible bachelor's in People Magazine.
I wonder how we would look at Jimmy Chin's story if he were not a National Geographic photographer but a young man still living out of the back of his car, having the time of his life climbing mountains.