... on Taking Risks
I have always thought of myself as a man who was afraid to take risks. Then I thought about what I have done over my life, and realized that I took more risks than I could ever have wanted to imagine.
To begin with, when I left home for college, it didn't don on me that my childhood home was gone forever. I would never return home on a permanent basis after that first step to the University of Pittsburgh. Dad knew it, and so did Mom, but I didn't. It probably hurt them more than I could ever understand, but they knew it was part of life and growing up.
From there, marriage and children, what a roller coaster ride! I didn't have a clue what it was like to be a father. Peg and I did our best, and with Peg's magic as the intuitive mother, our kids turned out great. It was a risk that scared the "you know what" out of me. Thank you, Peg, for being the strong one.
Now I am trying to be a grandfather. It's an experience I never would have considered being a risk...but again I was wrong. I am doing my best in this new position.
After all has been said and done, I understand that to truly experience life, one must experience risk. Allow me to share the following words on the uniqueness of "Risk."
* To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
* To cry is to risk being called sentimental.
* To reach out to help another is to risk involvement.
* To expose emotion or feelings is to risk showing yourself.
* To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
* To love is to risk not being loved in return.
* To hope would be to risk despair.
* To try is to risk failure.
These are all risks I have taken in my life, and as I said before, never even thought about it. Risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
People who risk nothing: do nothing -- have nothing -- are nothing, and in the end, become nothing. Of course, they avoid suffering and sorrow. But in doing so, they don't experience feelings, change, growth, or most importantly...love. Life can not be fully experienced without risk.
To my readers, I say: "Don't become slaves to your 'doubts.' Take risks, be free, and ultimately, you will succeed."
"Better to work and fail than to sleep one's life away."
-- Jerome K. Jerome
Updated March 25, 1999