CHUKWU CHIKWADO RAPHAEL,
BLIND LAW STUDENT,
UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, UNILAG.
In our risk-avoidance culture, we place a high premium on safety. We insure our vacations. We check crash tests on cars. We extend the warranties on our appliances. But by insulating ourselves from the unknown “the risks of life” we miss the great adventure of living our lives to their full potential.
Ben Carson spent his childhood as an at-risk child on the streets of Detroit, and today he takes daily, risky complex surgeries on the brain and the spinal cord.
Now, offering inspiring personal examples, Dr. Carson invites us to embrace risk in our own lives.
From a man whose life dramatically portrays the connection between great risks and greater successes, here are insights that will help you dispel your fear of risk so you can dream big, aim high, move with confidence, and reap rewards you’ve never imagined.
By avoiding risk, are you also avoiding the full potential of your life? The surgery was as risky as anything Dr. Ben Carson had seen.
The Bijani sisters—conjoined twins—shared part of a skull, brain tissue, and crucial blood flow. One or both of them could die during the operation.
But the women wanted separate lives; and they were willing to accept the risk to reach the goal, even against the advice of their doctors.
As a child on the dangerous streets of Detroit, and as a surgeon in operating theaters around the world, Dr. Ben Carson has learned all about risk—he faces it on a daily basis.
Out of his perilous childhood, a world-class surgeon emerged precisely because of the risks Dr.Carson was willing to take.
In one of his compelling books, he examines our safety-at-all-costs culture and the meaning of rsk and security in our lives. In our 21st-century world, we insulate ourselves with safety.
We insure everything from vacations to cell phones and the likes; we go on low-cholesterol diets and buy low-risk mutual funds, but in the end, everyone faces risk, like the Bijani twins did with their brave decision, even if our choices are not so dramatic or the outcome so heartbreaking, what does it mean if we back away instead of move forward?
Have we so muffled our hearts and minds that we fail to reach for all that life can offer us—and all that we can offer life?
The following Risk guides shall perhaps take you through an examination of risk, including:
-A short review of risk-taking in history.
-An assessment of the real costs and rewards of risk.
-Learning how to assess and accept risks.
-Understanding how risk reveals the purpose of your lives.
-Knowing the key roles risk plays in helping you to realize your full potential and ability to attain a greater height.
Thus, when it comes to the realm of pursuit of happiness, or if you like “success,” risk is the only option to make that dream a reality.
Rsk is the only chief apparatus in which when applied to the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude and with a positive mind-set, no doubts, your adventurous dreams are all ready coming to play and your set goals are becoming the realities of your risk-taking.
But if I may ask, whilst dreaming of a greater height, whilst imagining yourself soaring like an eagle, whilst desiring to become a wealthy and an influential personality, whilst you are wishing to become the master and the independent architect and the chief builder of your own empire, etc.
Now, having engulfed and saturated your mind with the above mentioned height of endless possibilities, my questions are thus:
Does “risk-taking” worth avoiding? Does “risk-taking worth quitting your struggles? No! It certainly does not.
However, risk-taking rather worth’s your courage to even strike harder when the struggle is getting tougher.
Risk-taking demonstrates how passionate you are towards your set goals.
Risk-taking entails your ability and dedication in attaining your purpose in life.
Risk-taking is an alternative means of driving powerful innovations and unique ideologies home.
Risk-taking, however, is almost the ultimate answer to the question on how man can reconcile the relative interior forces with the exterior so that man can live a purposeful and meaningful life.
In my own case, as a disable person who had long suffered a quite horrendous pains and impairment in my both eyes which eventually led to a suddenly surprising blindness is no exception.
In other words, risk-taking is not restricted to a particular set of people in the society except those who detest success and therefore do not have a purpose or meaning to their lives.
As a young blind man, from the very day I lost my sight, I was practically faced with a dilemma – looming failure and risk-taking; everything was like a dream to me, I thought of ever becoming anything good to myself, my family and to the society again, I thought of the pleasures of life that I have lost and I will forever miss since my sight is gone.
The most disheartening and heartbreaking thing I thought of was how blindness forcefully took me away from the classroom making me to forget and stop thinking about formal education.
During the time of this painful turmoil and undeserved ordeal, that was equally the same period when I just concluded my primary school education, one could imagine how tender I was in age at that time.
MY SUICIDAL THOUGHT
I could only think of a negative type of risk-taking which was a suicidal thought, of course I attempted suicide more than twice but I failed. It was unsuccessful. I actually thought I was taking a just risk but never knew I was taking a painful means and otherwise option to exterminating my own life.
I’m not however trying to deviate from the context in which this piece of writing is predicated upon but rather relating the subject-matter risk-taking to the degree in which it has effectively and positively impacted in my own life.
But to cut the whole story short, my life has over the years, from the moment I lost my sight to this present time been characterized with risk-taking; my physical challenge itself is a very big risk.
Whilst trying to make the best out of my visual impairment is purely a risk-taking.
Furthermore, the persons with disabilities especially those who struggle to get formal education in the various academic institutions in Nigeria from primary to the tertiary institutions are perhaps faced with unfavorable circumstances that seem to go beyond their control because we literally take risk in almost every activity that we get involved in.
Conclusively, ris-taking is an awesome phenomenon which my disability compels me to embrace on a daily basis. Risk-taking lifted me from the abysmal ditch of illiteracy, ignorance and self-pity to the corridor of global information, and formal education.
At this end, as one of my favorite writers, George Bernard Shaw says:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself”. “Life is about creating yourself.”
Indeed, however, it will be wholly impossible to create yourself in the absence of risk-taking. if you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.
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