August 1     

Today's quotation:

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair.  We'd never have a friendship.  We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical.  Well, that's nonsense.  You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

Ray Bradbury

Today's Meditation:

Risk:  how good we become at avoiding it!  Our intellects are pretty strong, and most of us live in cultures that value intellect over intuition, knowledge over feelings.  We grow up learning to rationalize and to explain things away, and our lives become pretty risk-free the more we learn to come up with reasons for which a particular course of action simply won't work for us.

People can hurt us, and many people don't have deep relationships because they've convinced themselves that everybody will hurt them.  They want to avoid the pain.  Well, the bad news is that the ecstasy and the agony co-exist in our lives, and we never can feel the wonderful results of having taken a risk and changed our lives if we haven't also felt the pain of having taken a risk and changed our lives.  The good news is that we can deal with the pain-- we're extremely resilient beings if we give ourselves the chance to be.

The bad news, though, is that we often focus so much on avoidance that our wings never get developed.  They sit there, useless, because we've never spread them in an effort to fly.  But they're just like every other muscle in our bodies-- they have to be exercised, used, in order to be of use to us.  Most of us use our intellects and think that if we jump off a cliff we'll die.  We rarely think about what will happen to us in the long run if we don't jump off any cliffs at all.

Our intellect tends to support our fears.  Our feelings tend to support our intuition, and it would be wise of us to use these aspects of ourselves in balance.  We may have grown up to believe in the supremacy of the intellect, but when we use it to limit ourselves, it's simply a very powerful weapon that we use to limit our own lives.

Questions to consider:

What do you think would happen to you if you jumped off a cliff and took a risk?

Why do we tend to put so much value on our intellects?

Who teaches us to avoid risk?  Are they credible teachers?

For further thought:

Any life truly lived is a risky business, and if one puts up too many fences against the risks one ends by shutting out life itself.

Kenneth S. Davis

more thoughts and ideas on risk



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