I was shocked when I began reading the comments posted on news articles about Abby Sunderland, the young lady who was sailing solo around the globe but had to be rescued after a storm damged her boat. While some of the comments expressed sympathy and encouragement, some were angry and downright livid-sounding.
Abby Sunderland is 16 - "underage" according to US law. And the comments are attacking her parents for "allowing" her to set off on her quest. Some almost accuse her family of forcing her to sail. It would seem they have disregarded what Sunderland herself has said - merely because she is not "legally" an adult.
"It has been my dream since I was 13 years old and began single-handing, to one day sail solo around the world," Sunderland writes on her blog, http://soloround.blogspot.com/
Judging from what she has said and written, Abby Sunderland seems to be a lot more mature than many people who are "legally" adults.
"Since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?" Sunderland pointed out on her blog today.
This is not someone who woke up one morning and said 'OMG, I think I'm gonna' sail around the world today! LOL!'
This is someone who knew what she wanted to do and worked hard towards her goal. She knew what she was doing and she understood the risks that were involved.
Her parents deserve appreciation for raising a daughter with that kind of ambition and who doesn't let others tell her she "can't" do something.
Some people have a dream and they hold on and don't let go.
I would hope that Abby Sunderland continues to follow her dream and doesn't let the naysayers get to her.
"Within a few minutes of being on board the fishing boat, I was already getting calls from the press," she blogged. "I don't know how they got the number but it seems everybody is eager to pounce on my story now that something bad has happened."