Risk and Danger

Yesterday I posted on our two recreational activities I enjoy with my children (skiing and hunting). There is a common element that draws us to these activities: Risk. And I believe that a healthy understanding of risk is a good thing.

Sighting in Rifles

This weirds some people out. Seriously, I’ve had people question my parenting wisdom because I teach my 10-year-olds how to shoot high-powered rifles. I’ve had dads tell me they won’t own a trampoline because they’re dangerous.

“Avoiding danger” is the philosophy, and if a hunter or skier or a trampoline jumper had this mentality, he or she would never enjoy the true thrill of the activity. In reality, this mentality is failing to recognize how risk plays a part in the success of the thrill, because risk is a healthy tension to master.

I have three positive aspects of risk that I’d like you to consider.

  1. Risk Reminds Us of Reality
    Even the most mundane tasks have risk. Though the risk is low, you risk depositing your money into a bank account. Kidding yourself into thinking that you avoid danger whenever risk poses a threat likely robs you of more thrilling and rewarding ventures.
  2. Risk Reminds Us to GO!
    The agility to just do it is a needed perspective in life. I think of when Lydia needed to pull the trigger on her bull (she hesitated at first, but needed to overcome the hesitation). In business, I often need to move forward without blinking. Pull the trigger and move in for the harvest. Sure, there is risk involved, but you’ve committed to this and you need to GO!
  3. Risk Rewards Us
    Measure up the reward for your risk. All investment requires some sort of risk. Anything can happen, and you have to be okay with the “anything.” We risked going skiing yesterday. Sure enough, a blizzard moved in, but we were fine with sticking around and having a blast.

Do you get what I’m saying? I hope you size up risk and respond to it appropriately. Seeing all risk as merely danger to avoid will keep you from some of the most joyful ventures available to you in this life.

Are you accused of being a risk-taker? Have you seen this as a positive or negative thing?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • judy

    I am sorry to say, I have not been accused of being a risk taker, though I have been known to do so with sharing my thoughts. But I so agree with you. The idea of risk often came up in my parenting classes. I would immediately share the story of Lydia. After one fall off a tombstone that broke her leg, her parents didn’t put a leash on her and she managed a repeat performance, broken leg and all. But look at the athlete now! I remember an interview of the parents of an Olympic ski jumper. When their son, as a small boy, wanted to jump out of the window, they put mattresses below the window. The thing is we become adept at something by pushing ourselves a little further each time we do the something, whether we jump off tombstones or speak our minds. If we break a leg or if our words come smashing back in our face, we learn something for he next time…about balance or a careful choice of words. I have to add…bunny hills were created for a reason.