Have you ever heard the phrase, “better safe than sorry”? This idiom’s truthfulness is proven in Jon Krakauer’s book, Into the Wild. In the book, Christopher McCandless, a young man who follows his dreams, learns to never overestimate oneself, for arrogance can lead to bad decisions and therefore bad consequences. Christopher McCandless decided early in the book that his ambition was to live completely off the land for a while, with only the help of ten pounds of rice for food. His adventure was not fated to end well though, for the Alaskan wilderness is perilous and he was not well prepared. Although many of the people who offered him rides had offered advice and told him how to be better prepared, Chris still “came into the country with insufficient provisions, and he lacked certain pieces of equipment deemed essential by many Alaskans …

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He was green and overestimated his resilience…” (180, 182). Christopher had neglected to follow much of the advice, thinking he was prepared after having survived his hitchhiking days. He showed lots of ignorance when walking into the wilderness so underprepared and with such little knowledge of the specific area. He is so overconfident he decides to throw most of his ammunition into the lake, an action he regrets later on, when hinting becomes too important for him to have disregarded it so. This lesson proves useful both two centuries ago, with Sir John Franklin, and a hundred years later, when a new lawyer neglects to gather as much evidence as was needed because he felt so confident after his first case.

Hubris and arrogance were the death of Christopher McCandless, for they made him underprepared and ungrateful of what he had. Christopher could still be alive had he taken more interest in learning more about the specific area around the Stampede Trail and taken more supplies with him, even if he did plan to use them, because after all, its better to be safe than sorry. Hubris leads to bad decisions no matter what your situation is, and these bad decisions can negatively impact your life, and that of others.

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