Where would our world be today without those people who took risks? There would be no freedom of speech, no equality, and no rights of any other kind; there would not even be a United States of America. It was not that those heroes who fought for us were always the bravest, but almost as a rule they were the most logical. They weighed the options and decided it was worth the risk. As they did, so must we also do. When afraid, we must ask ourselves if it is worse to lose our life or to not live it.
If we fail at our task it is possible to ease the pain by contemplating what could have been and whom we might have inspired. The task may be a short-term failure, but no one knows how far the ripples will spread and what they might prompt others to achieve. To reference the popular example of Rosa Parks, what would have happened if she had given up her seat, as so many before her had? A simple action such as that can change the world forever.
There exists another (for lack of a better word) benefit that comes from failure. For it is in those times, when we feel forlorn and lost that we find our true friends and find our true self. Only in a crisis will you and your friends show your true colors. Is there now anything left to be afraid of? It is true there is always some chance that we may fail, but if we do not try then, failure is certain.
“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard that exists in life is to risk nothing.”
I came across this quote by Darryl Shears the other day and could not help thinking that the difference between bravery and foolishness is simply the reasoning that a person has. A brave person is simply someone who weighs the options and is willing what is necessary after they reach their conclusion, but a foolish person simply acts on impulse and emotion (or does not act at all). It is therefore foolish of people to take unnecessary risks, but also foolish of people to not take risks at all. It is this I believe.
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