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© Joan Currie

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. – Erica Jong

There is a crosswalk on a busy street near my Post Office. When I need to cross the street to reach the bank there is no alternative but to use this crosswalk. Cars and trucks barrel by at alarming speeds and do not stop for pedestrians.

Not long ago when I was waiting at the crosswalk with crutches and in a leg cast following an injury, a police officer approached to explain that cars do not have to yield to pedestrians standing on the curb. Rather, the law requires them to stop only after the pedestrian has stepped off the curb and begun to cross the street – entered into the stream of traffic as it were. From a risk management perspective, does the cost – the potential loss of life and limb outweigh the benefit of going to the bank? I still crossed the street.

There are many cost-benefit situations in life that aren’t so obvious. What is a reasonably risk-averse person to do in those situations? The answer is simple. We have no choice but to proceed. We may do it with caution, but still we have to do it. When we throw ourselves out into the road of life, there are perils – we gamble and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Despite our hopes, dreams, and expectations that might be for naught, we still must proceed. The beauty of it is that when we do proceed we are open to all sorts of new experiences and landscapes.