Courage +Risk = Freedom

January 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm 3 comments

by Lauren Kennedy

Risk is inherent to living.  To be born is to risk dying. To stand up is to risk falling.  To speak is to risk dispute. To choose is to risk criticism. To act is to risk failure. To die is to risk the unknown.

Risk triggers our fears because it requires taking a step into the untried, unproven and always into the unknown.

We normally think of risk in terms of actions that we take: going for that job interview, asking for a raise, changing careers, leaving a detrimental relationship or going sky diving.

But it is the emotional risks that transform our character, our attitude, and our lives in the most profound and lasting ways. Emotional risks require us to face and walk through our fears. But it is the emotional risks that empower us with the passion and courage to routinely take that giant step into the unknown.

The following poem by an anonymous author describes these emotional risks.


To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental or weak
To reach out for another is to risk involvement or obligation
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule
To love is to risk loss, pain or rejection
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds, 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, change, or  grow
And he will not appreciate the wonder of life,
Nor will he experience  the joy of passion or the fulfillment of love
Chained by his certitudes and fears, he is a slave.
He has forfeited his freedom and himself.
Only a person who takes risks can experience life’s wonders.
Only a person who takes risks  will enjoy the freedom
To realize their potential, and touch the stars.


Are you free?


Entry filed under: The Essence of Freedom, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tobeme  |  January 14, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Great poem! Risk is as you said inherent to life. We must be willing to risk to experience growth!

  • 2. laurenpkennedy  |  January 14, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Hi To Be Me,

    That’s so true.
    And without risk, we are merely existing, not living.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • 3. Abhijit  |  January 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Risk is like mixed martial art to me….


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