Risk Avoidance

It is courageous to live our best life now. Our minds must be disciplined because we become what we think. Our aspirations must be focused because they become the best of us. Our lives must be protected against whom we let in, and how we spend our time because that is what fulfills us. This defines our quality of life.

Every fleeting moment we have is precious. Because we are all born, and we all one day will die, and everything in between is all we have. So we must be cautious, very cautious, of the enemies that can keep us from our “best life now” …right?

Our “best life now” has many enemies. We have obstacles. We have challenges. We have adversaries to keep us from the best we can be. That is why to make the most of this life we must do what is best, have what is best and be the best. If not, we are falling short of our potential. We must revel in emotional highs, and avoid the lows…avoid it at all cost. We must avoid frustration, stress and discomfort. And above all, prevent pain. Pain steals our happiness. If we let it into our lives we lash out, hurt others and ourselves.

Pain commands the worst in us…right? Wrong…

There is a flaw in this risk avoidance philosophy (introduced in Winter of Kindness entry #29) that pain is not necessary…that pain is bad. Yes, it causes us harm…but it is needed to grow. In our “best life now” we need to experience all the wonders this Earth has to offer, including some pain. When we try to avoid it we become indifferent. When we try to not get hurt we lose sight of other’s pain…we rather have others get hurt instead of us. And in this pursuit we may hurt others, so we turn a blind eye…or worse…purposely harm others.

The risk avoidance philosophy protects us from pain with indifference. We do this when we dare not to be vulnerable, fending off harm, adversity and challenges at the cost of an open mind, being ignorant and our growth (introduced in Winter of Kindness entry #50). We do this when we hold onto someone who is not meant for us, because the warmth of a relationship is better than the coldness of being alone (#50). We do this when we are blind to the everyday pain around us…that of illness, homelessness, hunger…and do nothing because it is easier than doing something (#23). We do this when we bottle our emotions to cope with grief (#51). And we do this when we are victims of a cruel act and our confidence is too low to try new things, so we build walls around our battered egos to keep the pain away (#9).

And we will explore the remaining pillars of indifference…that of growth and ignoring ourselves, tomorrow…