jump to navigation

New Year’s Risk: Adjusting my sails January 3, 2011

Posted by Phil Groom in Life, Poetry, Random Musings.
Tags: ,

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions: I see no point in committing myself to things that I know I won’t do. But this poem about risk, adapted from a piece attributed to William Arthur Ward, makes me want to shout yes! I hope it inspires you, too…


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.
Those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, are nothing:
they may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by their servitude, they are slaves who have forfeited all freedom:
only a person who risks is free.

Pessimists complain about the wind;
optimists expect it to change;
realists risk all and adjust the sails…


1. eddieolliffe - January 3, 2011

Thanks for posting this, Phil – truly wonderful and moving. Keep up the blogging my friend – its proved to be inspiration to so many and in some cases utterly unique in your ability to pose those awkward questions! Blessings for the New Year.

Phil Groom - January 3, 2011

Thanks Eddie – much appreciated; and long may your blogging continue as well! Likewise, every blessing to you through the year ahead.

2. Some risks are worth taking | Daniel Johnson, Jr. - January 8, 2011

[…] New Year’s Risk: Adjusting my sails (philgroom.wordpress.com) […]

3. 5 Quid for Life: thankful, exhilarated and terrified all at once! « Phil's Boring Blog - February 1, 2011

[…] we can change someone’s world! And — well I guess it brings me back to my new year’s post: New Year’s Risk: Adjusting my sails. Amazing to think we’re still in the same month that I posted that — and didn’t have a clue […]

4. Paula Ann Walker - February 4, 2011

“Yes!” Truly inspirational. I wanted to hit the facebook button and share this – with everyone. 🙂 Please do Phil. Or may I?

Phil Groom - February 4, 2011

Please feel free, Paula. Thank you 🙂

Just say it, you know you want to...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: