“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” ~ Frank Scully …
Being an arborist by trade, I have a feeling that my friend’s great grandfather would have been particularly fond of what Frank is saying here. Throughout most of life, society will tell us to avoid risks and to play it safe. However, much of what we most desire–the “fruit” if you will–requires us to take risks. Therefore, we have to be willing to do just that, and to say and do what we feel is right, with discernment of course. By taking responsible risks, we can ensure that our experience in life will be truly exceptional and extraordinary.
There are all sorts of trees out there… some of which have limbs that are weak and flimsy. To climb out on such limbs simply is not a risk worth taking. Sure, the fruit may taste good, but it could also taste horrible, and you could be hurt or killed. On the other hand, there are plenty of trees with limbs, which can support us. Not to mention that there are plenty of ways in which we can provide increased support for ourselves such as tying a rope to another sturdy limb.
So much good can come from our “going out on a limb.” A great example is Mother Theresa, who gave of her entirety to help those in poverty. She gave of her money and possessions to help those who were poor in wealth. She gave of her time and energy to help those who were physically poor and in bad health, even confronting the risk of illness and disease by treating and caring for the sick and the dying. She gave of her heart for those who were poor in love, and found the richest tasting fruit to be the fruit that required her to go out on a limb.
Life is full of opportunities just waiting for us. If we allow ourselves to “go out on a limb,” and to take responsible risks, we just might find that the fruit was worth it.
Find a fruit worth going out on a limb for and take the first step of climbing that tree.
Questions to consider:
What kinds of risks are worth us taking? What kinds simply are not worth it? Why?
How might we distinguish between risks that are worth falling when the branch breaks and risks that are not?
Why is the “safe” response so easy? How might we recognize when we are making decisions based on fear rather than on possible outcomes?
For further thought:
“Any life truly lived is a risky business, and if one puts up too many fences against the risks one ends by shutting out life itself.” ~ Kenneth S. Davis