the memory of that glorious risk you prudently elected to forego

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Agito a42

Senior Member
Source: Iron Man 3 (2013), an American movie.

A group of US veterans volunteered to take part in an experimental program intended to allow its users to recover from crippling injuries such as amputations.
Chief scientist right before the first test: All right, everybody, before we start, I promise you, looking back at your life, there will be nothing as bitter as the memory of that glorious risk you prudently elected to forego. Today is your glory. Let's begin.

This doesn't make much sense to me. What does it mean "to forego a risk"?
 
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  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The entire sentence means: "At the end of your life, looking back, you will regret all those other risks you were scared to take".

    This experiment isn't one of those risks.
     

    Agito a42

    Senior Member
    Tough sentence, I don't even understand what exactly I don't understand :). It seems almost meaningless to me.

    that glorious risk = the one you had chance to take but didn't, right?
    Why then does he say "prudently elected to forego"? Shouldn't it be "foolishly" or something like that? "it was so stupid of me not to take that glorious risk", that one sounds good to me. I would never say "It was prudent of me not to take that glorious risk".
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Look at it from this man's point of view. Here's what was in his head but he didn't say:

    "All right, Everybody, before we start, I promise you that when you're old men like me, you'll look back at your life and regret all the glorious risks you were too scared to take. This is one risk that you have accepted, and it's probably going to kill some of you, but at least you won't regret having taken it, if only I can persuade you to think of it as a glory. Let's begin."
     
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