Richard Branson attempted to cross the Atlantic in a yacht with his son and daughter.It was known to be a risky possibly life threatening escapade with the possiblity of breaking the world record.Why would he do this,threatening not only his life but those of his children as well? He asked the question and arrived at the rationale that life is about adventure.We tend to arrive at the answer to our questions that we want in self serving way dressing it up in high sounding language.
One explanation for this derring do is that modern man lives a relatively safe soft existence with no real life threatening events as his forefathers did and so seeks to artificially recreate danger and challenge in order to grow egotistically and derive energy from this interraction with danger,hence the phenomenon of 'extreme sports', where adrenalin-rush junkies get their fix dicing with death.
In Branson's case this could be tendency exacerbated by the fact that he lives surrounded by the luxury of the very rich and requires life challenging events to offset the ennui of riches and soft living.HIs mother told him to get out the car and walk home five miles when he was four years old.Unsurprisingly he got lost.Was this the trauma that set him on the path of high adventure? The mother's argument was that his childhood contemporaries were soft spoiled namby pambies going to birthday parties and she wanted him to be independent and strong. If a mother attempoted that today her child would possibly become prey to unwanted attentions of a paedophile, or be sent in to care.
At the end of the TV programme(on Virgin channel of course) Branson tells his daughter that if he could be a Disney character it would be Peter Pan the JM Barrie creation who never grew up. He would like to flap his wings at will and fly away,forever child-like.This could be good or bad.We have lots of men-children who retain their love of childhood things long after they should have relinquished them such as those who swear life-long allegiance to a football club or continue to buy pop and rock cds etc.On the other hand JC declares that no man can enter heaven unless he become a little child.
One gets the impression with Branson that for him there is no higher being than man,life is for adventure as he affirms,and that there is nothing beyond this life.If that is the case why not indulge in danger sports,carry on an open marriage(as he confesses, and sell condoms? Talk of a creator with a purpose for man would probably only elicit from him a bemused blank stare.
In place of God Branson seems to offer an ersatz humanistic religiosity.His business we are informed, is not for his children to squander in some playboy-girl fashion,dipping their fingers in his 'honey pot' empire for their personal pleasures.It is to serve a higher purpose,the community and environment.Perhaps he should come clean and admit that all those years ago when he was starting his empire the thing that motivated him was money fame and success,not some grim altruistic perverted philanthropic inpulse all entrepreneurs feel compelled to articulate these days, driven by some unwritten misguided politically correct ideology.