Okay…I admit it. I have done some risky things in my life. I have completed aerobatics in a WWII Navy trainer airplane, I stupidly approached gang bangers when teaching in the inner city of Indianapolis, after they refused to hand over a football, and I still lend a hand to strangers, which often means offering them a ride. I bought a brand new car and refused to purchase the extended warranty. I applied to hitch a ride on the NASA’S space shuttle when the ‘Teacher in Space’ program was launched. (Sorry…couldn’t resist it).
But this pales in comparison to what I do habitually. Yes, folks, I am the one who removes those labels on pillows and such that says: “UNDER PENALTY OF LAW–this tag should not be removed except by the consumer.” Well, I am the consumer, so I am safe. But what about pulling it off things that I haven’t actually purchased myself? Like hand-me-downs. Hmmmm? Are the feds coming to my door expecting a receipt? What a kooky thing for the government to do…monitor tag removal.
Another behavior that some deem a bit out of the box is tearing off price tags attached with those plastic strings. My mother used to say, “Deborah, get some scissors! You will rip the fabric doing that.” Rest in peace, mom, I have not ever torn the fabric jerking those things off. It is all in the wrist, is what I say. But one time, I witnessed five grown adults all befuddled on how to remove a tag without scissors. I reached over and promptly pulled off all the tags. Laid down the clothing and walked out. I swear I could hear the music of Queen, “We are the Champions.” It was a hard task but somebody had to do it; otherwise good clothing would have hung in the closet before the arrival of Super Scissors.
Now I am not trying to push myself onto any kind of pedestal. I am just saying that sometimes we make life too hard. And encountering risks is part of life. The good thing, I suppose, is that we bravely trod forward and do not consider behaviors as ‘risky’ until the outcome is good. Then we can look over our shoulders and say, “Man–I sure took a chance on that one!”
What risks have you taken today? Changed lanes without signaling? Eat dinner without washing your hands for the allotted time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday?” Shame on you!! Didn’t fold laundry the minute the timer buzzed? Mailed a letter without your return address? You rebel! Maybe you even took an unknown individual home so he/she wouldn’t have to walk in the pounding rain. Now we’re talking!
Risks. You took one when you fell in love. When you told the spouse, “We’re pregnant.” When you rescued that scared puppy and promised it could not stay. Now it owns your heart. See…that is how it works in life. We step out into the unknown, put our hearts and souls out there for the taking, and are scared beyond words. Soon, it is as if life would have been terribly skewed had we not made the choice we did. Some call it courage. I call it absent minded bravery without guarantees.
All I can tell you is that I will sleep very soundly tonight knowing I took a chance–risk–on a lot of situations which had very good outcomes. And I will sleep on a pillow that used to have a tag that I was forbidden to remove under penalty of law. Am I brave or what???