How to play it safe

This was inspired by some guy outside the card store I went to Wednesday. He was witnessing. I found it odd, for some reason, that a man would witness, here, in the mall.

It got me thinking...I'm playing it safe. Trust me, it's easy to play it safe. It'

So, here goes:

Don't take chances
Don't look for opportunities
Stay with what you know
Don't go out of your comfort zone
Stay within your limits
Dream small
Don't dream
Do what other people think you should
Stop paying attention when you hear "Yemen" or "Darfur"
Don't register to vote
Walk down the aisle...after the next verse, if there is one...

My friend Alli shared her perspective:

The only way to play anything safe is not to do it; anything worth starting should be worth getting a little damaged over.

Is that important? That we fight for something, so much that we'd even come out worse for the effort? That we could consider breaking ourselves, just to prove a point?

Some background on Alli, she's blind, permanently dislocated her shoulder and finish the season, and she's brilliant. During her senior season, she hurt her shoulder, but didn't stop swimming. She knew going to a doctor would've ended her career.

That's what athletes do, they break themselves to accomplish a goal. I'll never understand what make athletes tick, or why we just can't stop. You have to finish the have to finish the race.

I stuck it out in Iraq for 5 months with a broken neck and arthritic back. I couldn't leave, no matter how stressful. It wasn't safe, but I couldn't stop.

Every night while she was on that mission trip in Mississippi, working those long days rebuilding houses, Portia would make it a point to tell me how tired she was.* I was jealous, what with my strep throat and all, I wanted to be there, I just couldn't be there. There's something to be said for being in the trenches.

It still strikes me as funny, my reaction. The guy, witnessing in the mall, he wasn't playing it safe. He was taking a risk, and I thought he was doing something out of the ordinary.

Then again, he wasn't, was he? But I'm sure there's no way he could do anything but finish his own race. So, yeah, he inspired me, too.

I think that qualifies as him winning the race, don't you?

*UPDATE: Clarified that Portia is not a wimp.

Posted by Macabee at December 16, 2005 11:43 PM | TrackBack

Thought-provoking. And for those who insist on finishing their race, you will always find detrators either ridiculing them or trying to shift the focus on something else. Achievement and victory make small-minded people sick and nervous.


Posted by: Dee at December 17, 2005 09:54 AM

It's just easier to NOT achieve. I honestly think some people are allergic to work. I think it's because it'

Posted by: MacStansbury at December 17, 2005 10:10 AM