Playing it safe.

Want to stay safe? Do nothing. Sit in your squalid bubble wrapped empty padded house with the windows shut and the curtains drawn. Sit naked next to a air filter system and air conditioning set at a set temperature of 21’C. Don’t leave the house, don’t talk to anyone, and only eat vegetables that you have grown your self. Only eat meat that you have seen butchered directly in front of your eyes. Don’t drink water without it being filtered, don’t smoke, don’t even think about playing football with your mates.

I was playing fives this week and it dawned on me the thrill of risk. Imagine living life without it? The sharp burst of adrenaline when you know things are close, or the thrill of a dramatic leap of faith, or even just the worry that something goes wrong. Imagine the mundane lives that people who don’t take risks must live. It’s life, and you have to make it something or it won’t become something, and thrills, risks, dangerous activities, they all are the spice of live and give it colour, flavour. They give it spirit.

So playing fives is a risk – imagine one misplaced tackle and a shattering of knee cap and ligament and a life long injury that you might never recover from. Climbing a mountain is a risk – slip on the scree or on the ice and you could end up down at the bottom of the hill without your leg poking out back through your foot. Crossing the road is a thrill, being pummelled by the lorry, smooshing you into the tarmac as gravity and friction glance with raised eyebrows.

Then, if risk is constantly being rammed into our lives because we enjoy it, we thrive on it, why do companies pay hundreds of million of cash and cheques into promoting safety? Because some people are not able to concentrate on the difference between varying lavels of risk – someone walking in front of a bus 40 yards away will have some time to get out the way… but someone doing the exact same thing but hesitating and then going into the flow of the traffic might be a terrible mistake.

So the options are to go back to your little safe haven and ignore the world and take no riskS or to go out, risk things and your safety and let the world do what it will. I’d rather live slightly riskily and have several mistakes pushed upon me than messing around taking no risks and getting left behind.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in getting up everytime we do." - Confucious