What is a risk? Why do we risk? And what kind of impact does risk have on our lives? Is there a safe way to take risks?
On a day-to-day basis, I say we each take some sort of risk in everything we do. A risk is an unknown outcome to an event. We take risks when we say or do something. We even take risks when we don’t say or do something.
We take a risk when we walk, run, sit, eat, drink, drive, swim, ride a rollercoaster, bike, work with machines, get close to hazardous materials and so much more things we do and don’t grasp the risk involved. And sometimes the risks are realized but the action is taken regardless of the consequences.
We also take risks with our emotions, the risk of trusting someone and they can let you down, the risk of giving and never getting back, the risk of loving and being crushed, and the risk of not living our lives to the fullest and regretting the moments that passed by.
There are various kinds of risks we face … we only notice the major ones … the things that stick out of the bunch … the rest we just got used to and we don’t even think twice about it. We can hurt in so many ways because of the risks we continue to take.
There is the physical hurt which is the most obvious; there is the emotional hurt which sometimes is shown and other times hidden and then there is the mental hurt which can be the least recognized of all yet the worst kind to experience.
For some reason, people seem to focus most of their attention on the physical consequences from risks taken in comparison to the emotional and mental well-being. People will fear and second guess their decisions if their actions may lead to a serious injury to their bodies but won’t have the same emphasis on their decisions that might lead to a detrimental emotional set back or mental ramifications.
Is it because humans are so caught up in materialism that we don’t give much attention to our soul versus our body. Are we that consumed with our outer image compared to our inner self? How do we function like that?
No wonder the majority of the world’s population are experiencing high levels of stress and pain. This is because the inner pain exceeds the outer pain; due to the fact that it is disregarded and at times even denied. There are very few people who recognize their inner sufferings. May be a lot more now are aware than before and that is thanks to the gifted people who speak out and advertise it for the whole world to see. Still, the higher percentage of people either ignore or deny they are in emotional pain and even worse have a blind eye to the reasons that led to that state.
Some may believe it is a sign of weakness if you admit you are hurt emotionally as a result of a taken risk in life. It’s like there is an expectation in our society that we are not to be shaken no matter what happens… maybe if we were not ‘Humans’.
Why we hurt, because we opened ourselves up and became vulnerable and had expectations and we got the opposite of what we hoped for, promised or worked hard to obtain. Naturally, we get disappointed and with that comes pain. And that is the risk we take when we have a heart. That is the risk we take in living.
The scar from the emotional pain however, as much as it is invisible, it can be most damaging, and the deeper it runs, the longer it will remain. So the risks we take when we trust, fall in love, count on someone who we are so sure they would be there or an event that would change things for us to the better … all those risks and many more examples like them … when they fall short to our expectations, they not only affect our material world, but the emotional state is also affected and we are left struggling to find a way to deal with the let downs and disappointments. Some may handle the let downs faster than others and try again, but some are not able to face it on their own and may need help from others to get through it.
Not minimizing those risks when we endanger our bodies whether it be for fun purposes or work purposes or simply just living day by day. All obvious risks are to be taken seriously and must be analyzed. The unknown will always be unknown and that pretty much goes for everything we do. We cannot guarantee an outcome as we do not have any control on what happens around us and we most definitely do not control other people’s actions or their words for that matter.
It is acceptable to say that risk is part of our lives whether we like it or not. However there are instances when our intellect tells us that a particular risk can more likely result in a disaster than not. Therefore why do we still do it anyway and then say: “oh well, it’s a risk I wanted to take and there was no way I could know it would turn out like that!”
Actually – yes – we knew it was risky – we just made the choice to take the gamble anyway. And now we gotta live with the consequences.
I can relate to this statement, except I learned along the way, that not every risk must be tried out to see what the result will be. And not every risk is meant to be taken. If your gut tells you “NO”, common sense tells you “NO”, others around you are advising you with a “NO”, then one must listen to all those signs. Yes it is our choice at the end of the day, and choosing not to take that risk although influenced by other factors, remains our choice regardless. It is our choice to take others’ advice and our gut feeling into consideration. It would also be our choice to disregard them and go ahead with the risk anyways. As long as we are well aware, we must be able to live with ourselves, no matter which way we choose to go.
If there is anything to take away from all this – it is that not every risk is meant to be taken, yet not every risk is not riskable. It is a matter of choosing our battles, which risks we can take and which ones we just can’t afford to take because the outcome might just be irreversible and merely self-destructive. Knowing when to stop is really hard, I know that .. but listening to your instincts in the long run is easier than opposing it.
You know what your gut feeling is telling you, you just choose to ignore it so you can please your ego at times. You ego always wants to prove it is right. The ego is part of the outer self, not the inner self and anything that does not come from ‘within’ is usually the incorrect approach and ultimately most destructive.
I leave you with a couple of thoughts on risk and risk taking from the wise ones:
“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” ~~ Leo F. Buscaglia ~~
“You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.” ~~ T. S. Elliot ~~
“It’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It’s because we do not dare that they are difficult.” ~~ Seneca ~~