Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Take a Risk

Remember when you were young? It wasn't that long ago, right? When we were kids it seems we didn't think twice about taking a risk. We rode our bikes with "no hands." We scaled rocks, jumped ramps, waded creeks, swung ropes, climbed trees, and courted death-defying danger with every mad dash across the street, throwing all caution to the wind in the meantime. For all the risks we took, most of them provided times of excitement, thrill and exhilaration; a few gave us a skinned knee or a bruised bone.

Even when we were hurt, we usually got right back up and started all over again.
Those times when we kept at it in spite of the skinned knee bore fruit later on, especially as we understood we should not be afraid of taking risks, even though some might have consequences.

Now, lest one get the idea we were completely foolhardy with our venturing into the unknown, we did learn to weigh the pros and cons. Considering the odds, however, is not to be paralyzed when facing something risky or unknown. There may be a chance of failure, maybe even a great chance of failure, but that doesn't mean the effort isn't worth the attempt. After all, sometimes a skinned knee -- or, for an adult, a bruised ego -- is a small price to pay for the gains to be made.

The problem is there are many voices in the world today that would render us ineffective ("neutered" might be a better word), if we let them get to us. As we assess possible outcomes for ourselves -- and our kids -- trying to minimize danger and risk-taking, sometimes we get dangerously close to becoming mere spectators and not players in this great game of life.

Sure, good sense and a question or two about the venture under consideration is always a prudent move. But when the queries have been made, the outcomes weighed, and the time investment seems to make sense, shouldn't we then forge ahead?

After all, it's feasible that conventional wisdom would dictate no one should get married, start a business, or write a novel, since countless marriages, business start-ups, and novels fail.

That being said, the skinned knees in my past have taught me that sometimes a risk is worth the effort.

To that end, I will let my children fall on their own, fail at a school project, and break-up with their "all-time love."

It may be hard not to intervene sometimes, but it is my opinion they will be better adults for it.

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