Play it safe

Safety is our number one priority. We tell each other to be careful. We settle for comfortable jobs that pay well and are secure. We settle for a significant other who ensures a stable life. Our five year plans are sure and guarantee each day is productive. Safety is deeply ingrained into our culture. The ubiquitous “Safety First” sign and caution tape spill into our lives becoming our maxims.

Safety sucks. No wonder so many people are so unhappy. We have built castles to protect ourselves and huddle inside their walls, fearful of an unsure world. But we have no fear, not within our lives. The world cannot touch us.

Neither can love. Neither can adventure. Neither can joy. In the name of security we have abandoned our passions and dreams. Our castles are not just castles; they are coffins, musty sepulchers where our hearts rot and with them everything we cared for. Except of course for our safety and stability.

By all means, seek after safety. But when you are lying on your death bed, old and long-lived, you will regret everyday from that moment you first sought safety until then. And you will know that you have lived less in the length of your days than you could have in half of them. When your children tell you of their dreams, crush them by telling them they are too risky. When they tell you they have found the love of their life, make sure they know the person doesn’t make enough money and is too eccentric. After all, you lived that way and look how long you have lived, how solid your life has been.

If you believe all of that is enough, somewhere in your life you have been hurt very badly and this is your solution. Without pain, there is no pleasure. Without sorrow, there is no joy. You will have no depths, but neither will you have heights.

Live dangerously, passionately. Find what you love, and don’t settle for anything less. Never settle. Find your soul mate and love them more than a storm cloud has raindrops. The phrase “good enough” has destroyed the aspirations of too many dreamers. Live greatly — either fail greatly or succeed greatly. But never live safely.

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