Friday, October 17, 2008

Taking Risks.

Author unknown

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to others is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they forfeited their freedom.

Only the person who risks can be free.


I found this piece online today, and loved it.
The mainstream West often looks at Buddhism as people who do nothing and just sit. But when you think about it, this, in the eyes of the West, is a risk in itself.

The West defines "doing nothing" as someone who doesn't take risks. This means we follow the path set before us, get a job, a place to work, and that's it. In our crazy, money-driven world so focused on achievement, where time is money, one of the riskiest things a person can do is take time off to just sit in zazen. A person is being risky if they actually take the time to eat breakfast, much less sit down and actually eat breakfast, enjoying every bite.

Buddhists, in every corner and culture of the world, take risks. Look at the monks in Burma. Or the Tibetian refugees in Nepal. The Buddhist community of South Korea.
Or, better yet, look at the monks, nuns, and lay Buddhists at your local sangha. Everyone of the them are taking risks in one way or another, big and small. Buddhism helps them deal with the risks in a way that is practical and thoughtful.


Barry said...

The biggest risk of all comes from getting to know ourselves.

We almost certainly won't like what we discover.

So then what do we do?

Uku said...

Beautiful post, thank you.