“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams in front of a crowd is to risk being called naive.
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 risks must be taken because the greates risk in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.”
I came across this poem recently and I agree with almost the entire thing. The only part I do not agree with is the “…and becomes nothing.” part. I get the gist of it but I would never call someone “nothing” no matter what. We are all someone.
I always say that I find inspiration and beauty everywhere. And it’s true. Many things inspire me deeply. But sometimes, on more seldom occasions, I find something that pulls on my insides. Like this poem. It’s a physical tugging feeling inside, like it’s literally pulling on me. These words speak to me so much and I know they will inspire me and guide me in all the days to come. Moments when I’m tempted to hold back. Hesitate and contemplate not reaching out or speaking up or not allowing myself to fill with hope out of fear of losing, falling, rejection, stumbling, someone not appreciating something I say/do……
But I will keep remembering to reach out anyway, love deeply anyway, be happy anyway, hope anyway, risk stumbling and falling, risk rejection, risk the indifference of someone I have much gratitude for, risk appearing stupid in front of others, risk people using things against me later that I reveal now, risk it all for love. Love for others, for the world, for myself, for life, for raw honesty and openness and sharing….
Risk it all to live deeply and truly. Risk it all to be fully alive. Pain, indifference, rejection, painful criticism, appearing to be something negative to others…all of these things feel unpleasant but they are part of living truly and deeply. They are sometimes the result of taking risks and I believe they are worth it.
We can close ourselves off to the world, shut up and shut down to avoid loss and rejection and other unpleasant things and we may succeed in that for the most part. But we will also succeed in not getting the most out of the gift of life. If we don’t allow ourselves to experience the depth of relationships with ourselves, others, life, and the world, we’re less likely to feel true loss and rejection but also less likely to experience the joy and depth of true love. If we don’t reach out to people we can often avoid rejection but at the price of avoiding true connection. Is it really worth the cost?
If we don’t share our opinions and stories with others, we will be less likely to be ridiculed and criticized but also be less likely to inspire and impact people and allow people to get to know us.
Repressing love, emotions, and our true selves accomplishes those things but at the price of not being fully alive.
And reminders now and then like this poem are so pleasant and joyous.
The painful struggles that come with taking risks can be used to our advantage. To help us grow and learn, teach others, and identify with others.
” Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin'” ~ LeeAnn Womack