To Risk

The word RISK spelled out with letterpress blocks.

I was sitting in the library the other day, preparing to watch what I expected to be a boring video for my education class. However, as the clip played–black screen followed by piano notes–I started to feel tears in my eyes. The words that moved across the screen were so well-timed, so beautiful. I haven’t been able to get them out of my head since.
I’ll preface that by saying that it has been a rather difficult couple of weeks. I was sick one week, then got better just in time to have my wisdom teeth taken out. Even more than that though, my thoughts and worries and decisions have been weighing very heavily on my heart. A part of my life is preparing to end, and I have no clue where I want to go next.
That is why I wrote a letter addressing my fears. They have been so prevalent lately….so loud…so inescapable. They have been consuming, defining, and empowering–exactly all the things that fear is not supposed to be.
That is why the poem that I saw in the video meant so much to me. Here is what it said:

“To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow, or live.
Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.” –William Arthur Ward

It made me ask myself, “have I been risking anything in my endeavors? Are they worth anything? Have I really been giving it my all, or have I been holding back because I am afraid?” I thought of the times I have risked things before. They were not all good choices, and some of them did bring pain and sorrow, but they also brought change. They brought deep learning. They brought me closer to God and to the people I love. I do not regret those choices. How could I? Without them, I would not be complete….without them, I would never know the value of life, love, hope, or happiness.
Now, I try to remember those words, and they have helped me to keep going.
Some other words have as well. About a month ago, I was at the Founder’s Day Ball at my college–and during the dancing portion this song came on. “This sounds familiar,” I said, “it sounds like the same guy who did the Spirit soundtrack.” One of my friends listened to a couple lines and then said, “Yeah, I think it is him.”
It did turn out to be “him”–Bryan Adams. The song was “Everything I Do”, and while it is actually a love song, I don’t really think of it as one. Instead, whenever I worry about something or don’t think I can go any further, I hear the words float through my mind, almost like someone is asking me to reconsider:
“Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for…..don’t tell me it’s not worth fighting for…”
It helps me remember that “it” (whatever it may be) is worth fighting for. I must press on, trusting God to lead me, forgive me, and give me hope. I must never give up. As Red sings, “I will not give up until I see the sun.” 🙂
At any rate, I have my short story scheduled to “air” in four parts starting on Saturday and continuing through Tuesday since I will be out of town for the weekend. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 And with that being said, have a great rest of the week! ❤


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