To laugh is to risk appearing the fool;
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental;
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams
before the crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure.
But risk must be taken,
because the greatest hazard in life
is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing and is nothing;
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they simply cannot learn,
feel change, grow, love, Live
Chained by their certitude, they are a slave,
they have forfeited freedom;
Only the person who risks is free.
~~ Author Unknown ~~
I used this commonly quoted poem when I taught missionaries - using it as a discussion point to prepare themselves for new opportunities, to think in new ways, to open themselves to feel, to share, to love the people they will teach. It triggered discussions of opening to the spirit, opening to human touch in foreign ways, of breaking down barriers of a very closed American culture and to see things in new and different cultural ways - in hopes of becoming a better servant of the Lord by being willing to let go, open, and RISK. Risking!
I look back at this poem and can look at my life in two ways : I've risked everything I'm attracted to in order to be "attracted" to family, wife and kids, eternity. Or, I've risked nothing, to be free, unable to learn to love as I'm scared to truly live...
What am I really willing to risk?