Manufactured Danger

“The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions”  ~Alfred Adler
I really like this photo.  It has a gritty, urban quality that I find interesting.  If I weren’t smiling, you might think I was in a bad neighborhood waiting underground for my ride out.  The truth is, the lighting was bad, and we were surrounded by carnival rides and crowds of screaming children.  So much for gritty realism.
I don’t advocate dangerous situations, but there is truth to the idea that real danger lies in missed opportunities, in living too cautiously.  I sat on the bench while my kids waited to board carnival rides that made them squeal and throw their hands up in the excitement of make believe danger.  There’s no real danger in a manufactured thrill that is held behind safety gates and can be run by a surly sixteen year old with a bad smoking habit.  But my kids don’t know that yet. They don’t know that the safety supports and seat belts are precautions that manage the danger and keep the thrill to a mild shriek.
Some think that danger is moving to a new country where you don’t know a soul, where you don’t speak the language, and where it is very likely you will have to learn winter sports.  (Athletics are my particular brand of fear:))  It may be driving down foreign lanes and exchanging in unknown currency, or facing the fear of not fitting in and being misunderstood.  Yes, moving overseas will be life without the safety supports and seat belts, and may result in some true shrieks of anguish.   But, I hope to teach my kids that this isn’t the real danger.  The real danger would have been to miss grabbing onto the opportunity and hanging on to it for dear life.