Recently my city has been doing curbside brush pickup. A large truck with a mechanical arm lumbers along slowly picking up branches and bushes that people have left in front of their house. Unfortunately I only seem to encounter the truck on blind curves where crossing over into the other lane in perilous. The conundrum is whether to take the chance or play it safe? There’s a possibility that you get past the truck unscathed and move onto the next part of the day. Or you go head to head with a garbage truck who never saw you coming.
This is much of what we must confront in life. There are simple actions with predictable outcomes because we’ve done them before. Although predictability is extremely valuable, it is just that “predictable”. Excitement and bigger rewards do not come from the predictable. They are usually linked with some form of risk. Perhaps it is simply the risk of self-perception or some other mentally contrived model. Or maybe it is true risk of injury or death. Regardless of which it is, they tend to feel semi-similar. We’ve been wounded hundreds of times but never bled. We’ve died a thousand deaths but our heart never stopped beating. Our anguish is created and executed by nothing more than an electrical signal across a tiny synapse.
In the world of traffic and oncoming traffic, I’m a “play it safe” kind of guy. Unfortunately in the internal world, I’ve painted myself into corners at times with double yellow lines. The pain that I protected myself from would most likely have been short-lived. However it would have been “real” to me. So I hedged, balked, squirmed, cowered and ducked away from those opportunities. I can’t say for sure that I won’t again. But I’ve got it in my head right now that most of those lines are meaningless. So I’m going to test them out and hope that I don’t get a garbage truck in the face! More than likely, the worst that will happen is I’ll get some egg on it!