The other week, I was talking to my friend, a seven-year-old philosopher. She’d been having a tummy ache, but still decided to indulge in some cake and ice cream at her cousin’s birthday party.
“How’s your tummy?” I asked later.
“Fine,” she answered. Then with a most serious expression on her face, she added, “And even if my tummy did hurt, it was definitely worth it!”
My friend is wise beyond her years. Too many adults have yet to grasp this basic concept. We are free to choose our actions, but we refuse to acknowledge those actions have consequences. Or we take actions but refuse to accept the inherent dangers involved.
But the wise know there are always risks:
- We choose to love people, and those people may disappoint or leave us.
- We take on new jobs to find there are new stresses involved.
- We choose to move to a new place but may find it as disappointing as the old.
- We eat cake on an upset stomach and may find ourselves quite ill.
The basic question is this:
If I do this, will the risks involved be worth it?
And if the answer is yes, then proceed and don’t spend time groaning about the inconveniences, pain, and grief that may pop up along the path.