Are you threatened by her?

When I first read about Abby Sunderland, I immediately felt a great sense of admiration for the Californian girl.

What’s not to admire about Abby? She’s 16 and her dream is to sail solo around the world. She was so close to achieving her goal but it was dashed by massive waves that smashed her mast. She was rescued about a week ago. Read Abby’s blog here.

She could have died but it was not her ajal (time to die) so she survived and was found by the international rescue team. During an interview after she was rescued, Abby said that she still loves sailing and hopes one day to circumnavigate the globe.

I have no doubt in my mind that she can pull off another solo trip. The next time, she will be successful.

What saddens me is the controversy and negativity that surrounds her family since she was rescued.

People had accused her parents of — being irresponsible for allowing her to go on the voyage at such a young age; of being publicity-crazy; of not caring if their daughter died in the process because, hey, they have six other children and other stupid and crazy things like that. (Click here for an article which criticised the family. Don’t forget to read the equally strong comments from some readers.)

It amazes me how easily people judge a family that they don’t even know.

They are judging her parents as if Abby had sneaked out of her home, driven her older sister’s car and got into an “accident”. (Sounds familiar? I just couldn’t resist myself.)

Abby was not being reckless. She had been sailing all her life and she was not doing anything illegal. Her parents gave her the permission to go on the solo journey. They were all aware of the risks involved. But Mother Nature had other plans for her. A giant and strong wave wrecked her ship, people; she didn’t drive a car into a ditch.

I wonder if they would have anything to say about the Sunderland’s parenting skills had the voyage been successful? Had her failure to complete her mission caused this uproar? If so, boy, people really love to gloat when others fail, don’t they?

As far as I’m concerned, Abby did not fail. I won’t call her a hero but a role model? Definitely.

Sailing around the globe is her dream and she didn’t let fear or age get in the way of it. Many people stop themselves from achieving great things because they let other people talk them into thinking that they are too _____ to achieve their lifelong dream.

I think people are threatened by Abby’s bravery and her parents’ trust in their teenage daughter.That is because while the Sunderlands have a mature daughter who is focused and driven, others are at their wits’ end trying to stop their 16-year-olds from getting pregnant or getting someone else’s daughter pregnant.

That’s the only way I can explain the hate and negativity that they have towards the Sunderlands.

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