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Leaping ahead: An accidental life lesson

On a wintry afternoon by the lake, I was out for a walk with a friend. As we reached an icy patch on the trail, I walked around it to avoid slipping. At the same time, my friend lunged forward and ran across the ice, sliding on it joyfully. It occurred to me in that moment that we can live our lives in either approach- avoiding perceived danger or charging toward perceived opportunity. It is necessary to differentiate between situations in order to avoid actual risk (physical or emotional), but my feeling is that most of us tend to lean more towards the pole of extreme caution.
What do we lose by avoiding risks? How did we learn that taking a chance is scary or not worth trying? When did failure become such a bad word? Who do we need next to us as we chart a new, and often frightening, path? Important questions to explore...
As for me, this moment on the trail led me to reflect on my own tendencies, and on the next icy patch I thrust myself forward and slid on the ice. A few more attempts honed my ability to tilt my body forward instead of the natural inclination to hold back for fear of falling- and the sliding became a happy thrill.
Let us create more opportunities to dare, since "a ship is safe in a harbour, but a ship is not created to stay in a harbour." (paraphrased from John Augustus Shedd).


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