Friday, December 14, 2012

Risks

This was brought to us this Friday by Grannymar.

It starts at birth.  If you are alive, you are at risk.  Now, death per se is not a risk - it is a certainty.  But, when it happens is where the risk comes in.  Since survival is our deepest instinct, we live with a dynamic tension.  I think that is no accident.  And death can be physical, emotional or social.

There are all kinds of risks, for any time there is something to lose, there is risk.  Now, the Eastern solution to this is to simply have nothing to lose.  The  Western ideal is to give it all to The Lord so that again, as individuals, we have nothing to lose.  The purpose of life in both cases is to realize that ultimately there is nothing to lose.

Part of me prefers the approach of Han Solo heading into a field of asteroids virtually impossible to navigate.  When C3PO tells him just how unlikely it is to make it to the other side, Solo says, "Never tell me the odds."  I like the idea of embracing creaturehood even though it seems hopeless, diving in even with everything to lose, checking the odds after the accomplishment.  In fact, to me that seems to be the point, for I think that to be creatures is the point of life, not an evil to be escaped.

As my father once told me, "Live!  Experience for as long as you can, for there is plenty of time to be dead."  And, before you get carried away thinking him a heathen, he believed in life after death and absolutely loved Christ.  He just refused to have the church package heaven for him and he sought understanding always on his own terms.  He wasn't interested in the odds, he was interested in the challenge, in the experience, in the truth as he discerned it wherever it led him.

That's pretty risky.  And very rewarding.

20 comments:

  1. I like Old Joe's way of thinking.

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  2. @Grannymar

    He saw a lot of wisdom in bing human.

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  3. Trouble is, Old Foss, that - as so often - people just think of themselves. I cannot emphasize those last few words enough in order to make my point.

    Sure YOU'll be 'long dead' but what of those you have responsibility for? What of them and their feelings? My whole outlook on (my own) life and death changed the moment I became a mother. Fiercely so. Where before I didn't care much one way or another suddenly it was of huge importance to be around. It's one of the reasons I reserve a particular loathing for women with young children who put themselves, unnecessarily, at risk by sailing oceans, climbing mountains or reporting from war zones when there is no need other than that they appear to have something to prove. Like what?

    U

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    1. U, you are misunderstanding my father and my post. In fact, you misunderstand it fully 180 degrees which is easy to do because precise opposites so often mirror one another.

      My father saw survival as his first responsibility. Likewise, I seek longevity for those around me. It is that I don't seek the stance of detachment from my creature existence that I deeply have so much to lose.

      Not wanting to know the odds is a way to not be cowed in the face of what one must do. Any person who must act knows that if a thing must be done, doing it with confidence is much more likely to yield no injury than doing it filled with hesitancy and fear.

      Does that make sense to you?

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    2. I do like your 180 degrees analogy.

      I most certainly underwrite your "confidence is much more likely to yield no injury..." as I myself had plenty of opportunity to prove, observe in others; and I most certainly encourage the notion in youngsters, indeed anyone, around me.

      So, yes, to answer your question: What you say does make sense to me.

      U

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    3. Let us take this discussion to its logical conclusion. What happens when I am decrepit, can happen even at middle age, and my son is the one who has to worry about me and my well being? I went through that experience of an old man who would not risk going to an unfamiliar assisted living facility and what it did to me. I would go gladly and risk meeting other decrepits and even hope for some adventure like Amos in the TV film of the same title.

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  4. "… there is plenty of time to be dead." Your father was a wise man, Fossil.
    Blessings ~ Maxi

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  5. this is my 3rd attempt a t commenting. Hope I can reconstruct my thoughts. I greatly admire your father's way of thinking. I am not the firm believer in Christ that he was, but I cannot go the Church route and I am happiest when I do my own search for religious answers.

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    1. Indeed, I think each must find his or her own understanding, unique and most valuable in its individuality.

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  6. I agree to a degree.... I do believe that we should take risks in life, but I am past wanting to take risks that could end my life! Everytime I get in a gondola that it tethered on a line going up the face of a mountain, I wonder why I decided to do it. It wasn't that fun, and if it broke, my life could end. lol A friend of mine used to climb mountains without safety gear. Then they had children, so he decided he better take more safety precautions. So I will continue to take some risks, but I just have to avoid ones that could end in death, or disfigurement. lol

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    1. Delirious, every step is a risk. Just ask Grannymar. I would refer you to my response to Ursula, for I am not advocating risking either life or health, but rather acting with confidence when action is called for, as it is in every person's life.

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  7. I wouldn't have thought that Christian ideals are a part of western philosophy. I thought we tried to emulate the Greeks. Although what their take on risk was I don't really know.

    Thanks for making me contemplate a bit.

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    1. Historically, I think you are right. I was referring more loosely to the current philosophical approach which is more closely allied with Christian ideals. I think they are great, but Dad always felt we have become so married to Christ's death and sacrifice that we forget the power of His life. That we focus so on the divinity that we reject the humanity.

      He had a minor in Philosophy of Religion and we discussed these ideas for hours.

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  8. I would have liked to have met with Joe. I am sure that we would have got along very well with each other.

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    1. Yes you would have! You should meet with me instead since he and I had many similarities and I still have the privilege of being incarnate. :)

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  9. Yes - there is a conflict here.
    Live now, because you'll be a long time dead. Yup. I'll go for that one.
    But as Ursula says, I also have responsibilities that I neither should nor want to shrug off lightly.
    So what's the answer? Do both at the same time.
    Is that possible? Dunno.
    We can meet afterwards and compare notes.

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    1. Well, I am assuming that you do not accept my explanation of intent to Ursula. There is no intent, although perhaps poor writing on my part, to imply that we shrug off responsibilities. In fact, my father always said that survival was his FIRST priority.

      But, if you do not accept what I have written to Ursula, you won't see eye-to-eye with this, either. As a glutton for punishment, I will probably follow up with another post in the light of current events tearing up the people of America.

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