“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. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” ~ Helen Keller, The Open Door …
Many of us tend to make security our highest priority. Even as a society, one has to look no further than the roughly $32 billion dollar firearm industry in the US to see that we have elevated it as one of our most powerful cultural values. But to gain a lot… we have to be willing to risk a lot. And although most of us want a life that is perfect for us and our families, and a lifestyle that is predictable and easy, there is nothing we can do or say that will ever guarantee that it will be so. And those who do succeed in obtaining a greater level of security, usually do so at the peril of others–neglecting their relationships, letting precious time and opportunities slip through their fingers, and misguiding their children; such children often find life overwhelming as they leave home and quickly discover the security that their parents so carefully crafted for them was truly a myth and that the real world often demands us to make changes quickly and forcefully.
As a parent, I have the great responsibility to teach my children the importance of taking smart, calculated risks, and then allow them the opportunities to take such chances and to experience those things that are required by children to discover the dynamics of life–such things as working a job, making and saving money, not buying things that they cannot afford or are not a necessity, participating in activities they enjoy, trying out new things that they find interesting, or falling in love. As a matter of fact, this is a duty we all can contribute towards, for we all know what being a child is like–a grand quest to be the masters of our lives. And if we can share our own experiences with the impressionable in our lives, we might help steer them onto paths that will add a depth and fullness into their lives.
Life will throw many additional changes our way–financial difficulties, loss of loved ones, change of jobs, schools, or places of residence. And yet that is what living is truly about–learning, growing, and experiencing all life has to offer and then sharing that with others. The truth is that although there will be unexpected changes in our lives, those changes are not what matter most; what truly matters… is how we react to them.
Find an area of your life where you may put too much emphasis on security, and then take a moment to reflect on why you may do so.
Questions to consider:
In which areas of our lives do we most desire security? Does it really exist for us?
How might we be sabotaging ourselves if we spend much of our time and effort seeking security?
What do the words “life is a daring adventure, or nothing” mean to you?
For further thought:
“There’s only one form of security we can attain during our lives. It’s inner security–the kind that comes from courage, experience, and the ability and the willingness to learn, to grow, to attempt the unknown. Security isn’t what the wise person looks for; it’s 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, The Strangest Secret