"To laugh is to Risk appearing a fool.
To cry is to Risk appearing sentimental.
To be different is to Risk ridicule.
To reach out to another is to Risk involvement.
To love is to Risk not being loved in return.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to Risk failure.
But Risks MUST be taken!...because the greatest Risk in life is to Risk Nothing;
The person who Risks nothing... does nothing, has nothing, is nothing!
Oh, that person may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they do not learn, love, live, or grow.
Chained by their own certitudes... they are slaves.
Only the person who takes Risks is FREE!"
~ Duane Barney ~
This was given to me in such a rare way in my young twenties. I was working as a new kid in the world of public speaking and I had the privilege to travel and work with Mr Barney for a number of years. I use to listen to him quote this poem as he would challenge, lead, and inspire an audience to change. As it was repeated in his speeches and talks around the world, these borrowed words eventually became my own words, and now act as one my life anchors. His poem has always stuck with me!
It's interesting how we all reach into our collection of thoughts and values that act as anchors in our lives when the winds and waves of change come crashing over us. Anchors are the pieces that hold it all together in the storms that come along. When everything in life seems to be in complete shambles, the few things that DO make sense to us, and will ALWAYS resonate within our hearts and minds...Those are anchors!
I do take risks! I wish to be "in the ring", swinging and taking punches! Sometimes it works out and the risk was worth it, and other times I may not obtain the results I had hoped for...
There is such a lesson to be explored when you think about the way we handle life when things may not "work out" the way we hoped for.
All "stepping stones" though :)
Today, I am grateful for the words of my friend Duane Barney... Risks MUST be taken!