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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…

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