ON RISKS

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask ‘What if I fall?’
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

Erin Hanson

Have you ever been in a situation in which you felt stuck and sensed some unfairness, be it a lifestyle routine or a job position? For instance, when one finds themselves in a work environment in which they feel undervalued and quite disrespected, yet remain dubious about deciding whether or not to quit abruptly in hope of landing somewhere healthier.  Did the option of escaping it seem harder to achieve and less bearable than the thought of trying to get over it, to get used to it?

Having gone through that exact position several times myself, I have always perceived the latter as a faint-hearted decision. However, it has not been without difficulty that I have able to come to that conclusion. Learning to take risks is not an easily achievable task. It takes time, effort, and practice. It does thus require a certain dose of fearlessness, and in certain cases a well-developed intuition.

Risk is a gamble that can occur in varied areas of life, from the tiniest, most random to the greatest, most meaningful life event. It is taking a chance, regardless of the status quo. It is taking the leap, regardless of the likelihood of instability and insecurity. It is fighting against any plausible regret and having faith in unpredictability.

Oftentimes, if the cards are played right, the outcome will result in the shape of a reward. For, indeed, even nowadays in our ever-changing society, the strength to stand up for your rights and dignity is not as common as it may sound. This is why it is so common to stumble across the countless and similar stories of people in their forties going through existential crises for having settled in a life where their hearts were never really in.

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”

— Hunter S. Thompson

***

Furthermore, taking risks does not necessarily mean diving into the complete unknown. For, having a back-up plan according to the situation may be moral-boosting support, if not a crucial safety net to hold on to.

It is only by pushing our boundaries that we get to live new experiences, that we grasp who we truly are within, that we learn and that we grow. Staying in our comfort zones in edgy circumstances is, in fact, the trap we oftentimes fall into.  Of course, there will be failures on the road, times when we got overexcited, and end up in unforeseen affairs. Yet, failure entails a twice more important lesson than a risk that ends in soundness.

Being able to believe in uncertainty means also being ready to accept new challenges, defy the odds, and shoot for the magical and surprising wonders that life holds. Believing is emboldening. Believing is receiving, one way or the other.

Personally, I’d rather choose the path less traveled.

what’s the greatest risk you’ve dared taking?

Better than this. Evie Irie.

ON BRAVERY

Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and stepping out anyway.


What is that makes one brave? Many define bravery as a trait that seems to be only perceivable from the outside. It is as though when one turns inwards there is no way he could think of it.It is as though a restriction existed on that adjective to be used as in self-descriptions.

Did we cease to see bravery as a quality at some point? Did our society condition us to assume that all paths were predestined to be filled with sorrows and suffering? Did we thus get accustomed to the idea that a human being is inherently a warrior, designed to overcome life’s harshest obstacles? A concept that would also happen to be the explanation behind the fight or flight response.

We have come to deprecate the value of courage as if it were one that most people own. Yet, truth is, although anyone can acquire it, one is not magically born with it. Perhaps, to find courage, as we phrase it, is the only approach to cope with unendurable experiences.

Oftentimes, we hear the recurrent line of thought in the testimony of individuals who have triumphed over the greatest hardships: ‘I did not choose to be this way, to keep going, I simply had to, it was my only chance of survival and I just perceived it as living.’ Strength of character does not arise overnight. It mainly requires heaps of efforts and every so often painstaking actions.

BCN, May 2020, GC

One is more likely to hide behind all of his strengths than publicly acknowledging his former battles and showing off.It is almost as though we carried a sense of shame if our past victories were painlessly confessed. Years ago, believing that the attention-seeking aspect prevailed most of the time, I used to be continuously suspicious of people who were, for instance, openly dwelling upon their personal troubles in the media. Perhaps this was merely the result of a very long time of bottling feelings up and not being able to confess my own issues.

I came to the realization that not everyone has to deal with the same problems. Everyone will someday encounter the same amount of pain than his peers but, for now, one may have no clue what this affliction means. And this is fine. Life is not linear as some like to consider it. As the French say, la roue tourne.

Perhaps this is the reason why courage can only be gained. At some point in our life, we all should get to proclaim ourselves ‘brave’ and we shall accept the label without guilt or embarrassment. Nevertheless, some beings still encounter courage more often than others and it becomes a practice – a ritual, a faith, a way of life. The only way.A part of their mind, body and soul.

Then, we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know that the Universe is conspiring in our favor even though we may not understand how. 

Paulo Coelho


And sometimes, bravery is the countless other things that we tend not to ponder on.

Bravery is believing despite all the bumps encountered on the road. Bravery is hoping beyond belief. It is constant perseverance. It is confronting fear, be it knowingly or not. Bravery is accepting to be honest and therefore vulnerable no matter what. Bravery is being yourself in all circumstances. It is remaining a genuine being at all times. Bravery is moving on, going forward, through thick and thin. It is catching the last beam of light in the darkness. And at times, being brave merely means being aware, in the bleakest moment,that you have held on thus far and realizing how brave you are.

what makes you brave?

La vie ne vaut rien (reprise). Tim Dup.