Botany Bay is located in Sydney, Australia about 13 km south of the central business district. It is about 55 km or 21 square miles in size. Despite its relative shallowness, it serves as the main cargo seaport for the city. 2 runways from Sydney Airport extend into the bay as you can see from this picture. But it is also surrounded by natural wonders and beautiful beaches.
Now I’ve never been there. But author Rico Tice talks of a time he was in Australia visiting a friend. His friend took him to a beach on Botany Bay. So Tice decided to go for a swim. He was just taking off his shirt when his friend said, “What are you doing?” Tice said “I’m going for a swim.” The friend said “What about those signs?” And he pointed to some signs that Tice had not really noticed – DANGER! SHARKS!
Tice then writes “With all the confidence of an Englishman abroad, I said: ‘Don’t be ridiculous – I’ll be fine.’ His friend said: ‘Listen mate, 200 Australians have died in shark attacks – you’ve got to decide whether those shark signs are there to save you or to ruin your fun. You’re of age – you decide. “ Tice decided not to go for a swim.
When you see a warning sign, how do you respond? I think we all go through some sort of mental process when we see or hear warnings. Maybe the process can be summarized in 3 questions. How reliable is the source doing the warning? How close does the danger warned about appear? How willing are we to respect legitimate warnings before it’s too late?