Opinion: Risky business


There are two kinds of people in the world – those who believe that there are two kinds of people and those who do not. On some things we can agree, and on others we won’t. We humans bring our own experience, perspective and baseline personality to each decision and to every interaction. We might “swing for the fences” in one instance only to hold back in another, hoping “to live to fight another day.” The very duality of it all could seem confusing, erratic and inconsistent, but we somehow manage to wrangle our incongruencies into something that could rightly be called an ordered existence.

Some of us become risk takers. Our experience has taught us to rely on our abilities and to push boundaries. Others prefer the path more traveled, choosing to trust the accumulated wisdom of those who preceded us. Both approaches are correct. And both are spectacularly wrong. The reckless daredevil learns by frozen digits that mountain climbing is fraught with peril. And the office drone wakes to find themselves at the end of their life, barely lived.

If we cannot find our way to a clear choice among the divergent approaches, how can we proceed? Do we hang in the middle, taking some risk but not too much? Do we learn to go with the herd while not following it to slaughter? But if we haven’t taken the big risk, if we haven’t made ourselves completely financial or emotionally vulnerable, have we made full use of this existence God gave us? In our own lives, are we resting too long or pushing too hard? Our greatest moments often come when we walk the tightrope without a safety net, even as it rightly terrifies us. Do we make full use of our gifts in whatever form they take?