Risk vs. Safety: Why playing it safe takes the value out of time

Every day we all make choices and sometimes these choices involve taking a risk or playing it safe. This can be applied to nearly any situation so I want this philosophical jargon I am about to rant about to be applied to choosing a career. When we are children we often declare the profession we dream of pursuing “when we grow up.” As we get older this thought fades away and some of us settle for a “realistic” way of life. This reality check shapes nearly every aspect of our adulthood and often forces any dreams to be locked away in the back of our mind. A person that dreams of becoming an actor may get a business degree instead and send out 1,000 resumes only to end up with no response and a true calling that had been ignored completely. If the person does get the job they spend their days unfulfilled thinking about a future that may have been if they had just been willing to take a risk.

“A ship is always safe at shore – but that is not what it is built for.” -Albert Einstein

When is a risk worth the risk? When does playing it safe cause a mundane existence? Can there be a balance?

Far too many people play it safe in this life instead of pursuing a dream and risking a loss. The irony of those that work to survive is that they are just buying meaningless time to exist longer on this earth with no true personal fulfillment. There are those who would argue some do not have a choice and the cards they were dealt prevent them from making a dream into a reality. A valid argument, but also a glorified excuse in my opinion. There is ALWAYS a choice. The choice to take a calculated risk with a high chance of loss may not be available today or even tomorrow. However, taking a risk over playing it safe is a choice that every person does encounter in their lifetime. Personality can play a role in the outcome of this choice for each individual but at the end of the day it creates two types of people. Those who choose to exist but wish they could live and those who chose to live regardless of the consequences. Yes, every risk does have consequences and some can have a lasting impact on our lives good or bad.

Where is this all leading?

Without taking any risks, just choosing to exist, never acting on any desires or impulses, and never acting on an idea is the ultimate risk. The risk of never feeling alive.

We can all “buy” time and draw out our inevitable end experiencing life in the most mundane way, but instead why not focus on the value of the time we have rather than the duration of our time. Therefore a risk isn’t a risk at all but rather a fulfillment of our existence.

I am interested in reading any comments or thoughts on “Risk vs. Safety” below.


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