Monday, October 11, 2010

Your Adventure

Hot Air Balloon
I glance at the morning sky and spy a hot air balloon drifting across the valley.  This part of the country displays the most vibrant autumn colors, and hot air balloon rides provide a terrific (although terrifying) vantage point.

I'd never do it.  A balloon?  A basket?  Me in there, high above the earth?  Never

Moments later, I stand in front of college students who do remarkable things despite fear.  They visit Egypt on archeology trips; they study Latin American countries so they can travel and negotiate border disputes; they enlist in the Army and await deployment; they go into prisons and practice rehabilitation methods.

Unsafe things.  Terrifying things.

Yesterday, my neighbor tells me her oldest daughter is mastering Arabic so she can spend a year in the Middle East.

"Isn't that really unsafe?  Aren't you so scared?" 

"Of course," she says. 

Of course it's unsafe.  Of course she's scared.  But something else matters more than her fear.  

Later, I'm talking with a friend about her husband's new job offer.  A huge unknown.  A huge gamble.  She's terrified.  

I tell her to surrender to the adventure of it.  If you know what's going to happen, that's not adventure, that's a script.  That's a high-action drama with a plot-spoiler.  Don't give the fear power.  If there's fear, it just means the adventure is that great. 

No fear, no adventure.

The spirit of adventure I see in younger folks challenges me to move ahead in the face of fear.  Of course it's scary.  Most adventures are.  That's what makes them adventures.

5 comments:

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

Wonderful post. Today's society, at least legalistically, seems to be all about safety. we can't always grow in safety; no one can guarantee nor legislate complete safely. We need to take risks. This country, as well as many others, would not be who they are today without risks - of individual people, of business and of agencies. Have the results always been the best? Oh, no - but the risk for the betterment of mankind is always worth it.

steveb said...

Another brilliant post! It reminded me of one of the reasons I went freelance -- to avoid monotony and live an adventure.

Eyvonne said...

It's so easy to look at our heroes and believe that they weren't afraid when they took the leap. But it's not about being afraid, it's about doing it anyway because something else is more important.

Beautifully done!

Debbie Happy Maker said...

Life is an adventure. And if we want to find the happiness we all deserve we have to venture out of a comfort zone. Great post and I am glad to hear about these young people venturing out into the world. As Roberta states this society is all about safety and it is taking the adventure out of living. Like a baby bird, there is a time when we have to fly.
Debbie

Mummy Dearest said...

I have this book of Buddhist concepts for each day of the year... Today's thought was something like: "As the rock-climber inches across a cliff, his courage is not in never looking down; it is looking down and continuing to climb"