I’ve seen this car commercial with the surfer, Laird Hamilton, where it talks about him inventing something called “tow-in surfing,” a dozen times. Tonight was the first time I actually listened to it. I can’t tell you why I did, but I did. An accident, I presume.
Anyway, the commercial calls Hamilton’s manner of surfing huge waves “courageous thinking.”
Look, I’m not saying that what he does is not dangerous. There is great risk involved, and doing that kind of stuff requires a certain something that not everyone has. I know I don’t.
But at the same time, is this really courageous thinking? It’s closer to suicidal thinking. More like attention-grabbing thinking.
Courageous thinking happens on the fields of war, when soldiers are making life and death decisions under enemy fire. Courageous thinking leads to the birth of nations. Courageous thinking breathes life into civil rights movements.
Courageous thinking does not create new ways to ride a wave, and it most certainly does not sell cars. I know it’s just a commercial, but I feel like our society has a problem with a lack of perspective, and stuff like this exemplifies it to a T.
Laird Hamilton is a courageous man, sure. But he’s not a courageous thinker. Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lech Walesa…those were courageous thinkers.
Mazda? Not on the list.