That is a question anyone who has loved someone has tossed about in their mind in one way or another...
How much will we pay to save our loved ones?
And for almost every sane person, the answer is "whatever it costs". And I understand completely, as a Father and a Husband, and a Brother and an Uncle - I agonize daily over the potential for loss in my family. And I have felt loss in the past, which I would give just about anything to have not experienced.
As a loving human, I completely understand the issue.
But also, as a rational being, I have to question some things.
Because - how much are we as a society willing to pay for THREE mountain climbers? Mountain climbers, who for recreation purposes knowingly put themselves at risk. I would imagine the total financial cost will exceed $100,000. Granted, I am just a damn blogger, I have no real figures in front of me other than what is in that article. But it is not hard to see how our costs are skyrocketing.
Now, lest you think I am bitching about spending the money - let me put those fears to rest. It is not the money that concerns me.
It is the place in which we are spending it. In this 24 hour media frenzy over three men on a mountain top - CNN has run HOURS AT A TIME of NON-STOP Mt. Hood coverage - what is being lost? What should we be focusing on?
If the actual costs were to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars, what could we spend that money on? And lets not forget about potential costs that could occur in rescue missions such as these... I am sure Air Force helicopters are not cheap... And of course then the cost of rescuing the rescuers.
But what about the Children?
(OK feel free to groan now)
Seriously though, what bout the Children? How many vaccines could this money pay for? How much medication for low income children? How many days of chemotherapy? How many meals for hungry children could we provide with this money?
It seems to me that our priorities are seriously out of whack when we spend copious amounts of money on rescuing three chaps on a recreational trip while we leave children to languish in sick beds or lie hungry at night for lack of proper funding.
I just feel as though we could do much more good helping the people that we have much better odds of helping, people which we have much more cost effective methods of helping. People who have not put themselves into the precarious positions they are in.
But, as I am sure you all have noticed, making sure 10,000 children eat this year is less newsworthy, and simply less sensational as three climbers dissapearing in massive storms on Oregon's highest peak.
My heart goes out to those family members who have lost loved ones on Mt. Hood this last week. But as I am a person who participates in some risky activities myself, I understand that sometimes the risk is greater than society should foot the bill for, until we can truly say that every individual is well cared for. (Especially the Children. (groan))