“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity; they seem more afraid of life than of death.” ~ James Francis Byrnes …
As Randy Pausch put it in his commencement speech at Carnegie Mellon in 2008, “It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed… it is the things we do not.” Why then, do we so painstakingly seek security in our lives? Is it not merely a myth? Why do we place safety and security on such a high pedestal, or aim to use it as the foundation upon which we build the rest of our lives, when life cannot possibly offer to us any semblance of certainty or guarantee?
To make the most of our time here on Earth, we must realize that safety and security are not what we really need in life. What we need, rather, is the ability to seize as many of the moments as we possibly can. This requires great faith on our part–faith to put aside the quest for security, certainty, and guarantee in life. Difficulty and hardship will eventually find us. Isn’t it much better to be prepared for what we must face, than to futilely seek security and avoidance?
Remember that although life offers many opportunities to each of us, most of those that truly matter will require much risk on our part–risks that require us to challenge ourselves beyond the status quo, risks that prevent us from backing away from life, and risks that perhaps put us in vulnerable situations. Yet even if those risks do not turn out as we had hoped or intended, there is a great deal of growing and learning to be gathered from them.
This brings to mind a favorite movie quote of mine from Shawshank Redemption: “It all comes down to a simple choice, get busy living, or get busy dying.”
As you journey through the day… reflect on some of the many opportunities that are present in it.
Questions to consider:
How important is safety and security to you? Why?
Are you more afraid of death, or of truly living life to the fullest?
What are some of the missed opportunities that have passed you by? How has missing them affected your life?
For further thought:
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller