You Can Never Be Too Careful?

“The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.” ~ Alfred Adler … 

Perhaps you have heard it said before, “You can never be too careful.” Typically, this saying is used in a sarcastic manner, for instance, someone speaking in retrospect to bringing an umbrella along for a walk on a sunny day. But the truth is that we can be too careful–we can take so many precautions that we lose all possibility for spontaneity in our lives or make our lives seem outright silly.

Imagine if I put eight tires on my car, just in case one of them goes flat while I am driving. Or if I were to bring along two pairs of shoes, or two baseball caps, or two pairs of eyeglasses. It all seems illogical and unnecessary of course, because it is. And if I am constantly trying to make sure certain outcomes always happen, I limit the other possibilities. Like an animal in a cage at the zoo… taking too many precautions can restrict our lives. I know of a couple folks who will not try to meet new people because they are afraid of the unknown, of being hurt, or of the possibility of being rejected or being made fun of. And while they may successfully prevent themselves from being hurt by others, they do so by removing the joys that come from being in the company of others, and end up inflicting hurt on themselves in the form of loneliness and low self-esteem.

It is interesting to note that Alfred refers to taking too many precautions as “the chief danger” in life–a strong assertion by any means. Yet in many ways, he is right–living a life with little to no faith is an extremely dangerous life that excludes spontaneity and surprises, new adventures and experiences, extraordinary relationships and friendships, reduced happiness and joy, and insufficient purpose and meaning.

It is difficult to find life fulfilling without being open to all the possibilities and outcomes inherent to it. When we do so, we indicate that we do not have faith in God, and we therefore feel that we must take care of ourselves. Faith in life allows us to live our lives to the fullest. And although life may not always give us everything that we want or need, it will take care of us. Trust life; and above all, trust in Him.

Do one thing outside of your comfort zone.

Questions to consider:

What causes many of us to focus so much of our time and energy on taking precautions to prevent certain things from happening in the future?

In what ways can you take risks today that are acceptable risks to you?

Why do so few people seem to embrace risk and risk-taking?

For further thought:

“There is only one form of security we can attain during our lives. It is inner security–the kind that comes from courage, experience, and the ability and the willingness to learn, to grow, to attempt the unknown. Security is not what the wise person looks for; it is opportunity. And once we begin looking for that, we find it on every side. You can measure opportunity with the same yardstick that measures the risk involved. They go together.” ~ Earl Nightingale


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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