An especially severe ice storm covered every exposed outdoor surface with a thick coating of slipperyness one day last month. It happened on the day of the week that I normally drive out of town.
It only took one look at my driveway that early morning, to decide the trip must be postponed. In fact, there were also travelers’ advisories in effect. The decision not to take the risk of driving on icy roads was easy.
Later that day, I felt stir-crazy and had to get out of the house, even if it was only to do something in the yard. I decided that to capture the beauty of the Sun illuminating the branches was worth the risk of falling and possibly breaking my camera. The risk paid off in several pretty pictures.
Each day, in some way, all of us evaluate risks of some sort. Each person has a risk threshold that is used to determine whether or not he or she should do something. Even if you decide not to do something, there is the risk of missing out on a great experience.
One of my college instructors said that if we are not willing to risk the unconventional, we will have to settle for a conventional life. She had taken the risk to leave Cuba with her family back in the days when doing so was very dangerous. She found a rewarding new life in the United States teaching Spanish to American college students. If she had decided not to take that enormous calculated risk, she would have lived an unhappy life in Cuba, and we students would never have met this beautiful, headstrong woman.
Perhaps we possess an inborn need to take the chance of failure. Think of how many risks have been taken throughout history. Would we even have history if no risks were taken? Great empires rise and fall due to people taking great risks. Time and again, history proves that those who do not risk cannot win.
We risk something when we care about others. Deciding to take a chance on another person during the search for a romantic partner will affect the direction of your life. If you decide not to take the risk of dating other people, you’ve taken a different risk anyway. Do we want to run the risk of deep feelings for another and leave our own impact on him or her?
Haven’t we read or heard somewhere this famous saying: “Risk! Risk anything! Don’t care about the opinions of others. Go ahead, do the hardest thing on Earth for you.”
You might make a fool of yourself in the process, but really, do you think people really care about that anyway? Even if they do, so what?