“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
― William G.T. Shedd
Everything in life seems to be a gamble.
For example, who you decide to spend your life with, you are risking a lot. The risk is not so huge if you decide this person is not the one you want to be with early on. You break up, and go your separate ways. But as more investment takes place, the risk becomes exponentially greater. I know the feeling of falling in love, and the daydreaming of building a beautiful life with that person. And the feeling if that person was not a part of your life, how devastating it would be.
For instance let’s say you get married, buy a house, and produce children. After such huge things, you will be entangled with that person for the rest of your life, whether you want it to or not. Breaking up entails a complicated divorce, and a lifetime of connection because of offspring. Of course, no one creates a family, a life with someone with the notion that things are not going to work. They are taking the gamble that things are going to be good. But if it is a family you want, you have to take the plunge eventually. And when you do take that plunge, you just hope for the best.
Finding love though is important. Because the consequences of not taking the risks are just as big. My friend Kyle, is a very lonely man. Like me, he has no children and has never been married. He will often tell me he wished he had someone to love, to snuggle. We are social creatures, we are not designed to be alone. In fact, scientist say that being alone, night after night, without someone to talk to or have physical contact with, is just terrible on our health. Being lonely is as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes daily.
My big gamble right now is school. Years ago, school used to be not such a gamble, when you could pay for college with a summer job. But now, when you are looking at a bill of thirty thousand dollars when you are through, the gamble is huge. You are assuming there is going to be a job when you are done, and that the occupation will be enjoyable and give you purpose. The problem with that view, is that there is no guarantee the occupation you went for is going to give satisfaction until you start working it. It sometimes takes a couple years before you know if you really appreciate the job you have. Another thing is you have no idea if you can even get the job you went to school for. There are a lot of people with degrees, working for minimum wage. (Trust me, I was one of them.)
I have taken the school gamble, a couple times before, I have thrown in all my chips, and come out empty handed. Most schools do not feel responsible in helping you find a job when you are done. You do have some gracious teachers who will give you nice recommendations, and you can use them as references, but that is about it. I have yet to meet a school who offers any kind of refund if you cannot get a job in your field, or you feel they did not represent what the job entailed. Schools have turned into businesses, like healthcare, where the bottom dollar is most important.
It is a pity, since education is so important. I feel educated people better society, and if anyone wants to educate themselves, we should make it as easy as possible for that person, without making the gamble so outrageous.
But what about the risk of not getting an advanced education? Again, the consequences of that seems even worse. Unless you are one of those rare business geniuses who just knows what to do. Getting an advanced degree, beyond high school, shapes a new and better way of thinking. It can provide you with a career that gives you respect amongst the community, and the financial means to provide for yourself and the people you love. It creates ways for you to network, so you can get ahead in the world, because let’s face it, ninety percent of subjective American success is all who you know.
What I am trying to say is simple, taking risk is important because the pay-out far outweighs not doing anything. If you gamble everything, and you feel you lost it all, you really did not. Perceptive failure, if you let it, is the best teacher of all. The things you learn, the experiences you have. It’s all about learning to pick yourself back up, and letting go of the negative feelings. It’s about knowing you are doing the best you can, and understanding no one can see the future. It’s about acknowledging the courage you had to even play the game of life in the first place, because let’s face it, it takes valor to go after what you want. I feel I lost the career game, but I am still going back to school in hopes of getting the jobs of my dreams, because as long as I am still drawing breath, it’s not over.
Tell me what you think so I can learn from your perspective!