Welcome to my blog!

I have been thinking about how someone might react when given an unprecedented opportunity that came with extreme risk.  What would you choose? The security of the known or the risk of the unknown?  I researched the question.  

It turns out that it happens every year.  From the space program to the bronze age, there are stories everywhere of people who took their shot at greatness.  

One example really stuck in my thoughts.  In 1710, in Paris, an edict was passed, essentially telling people that if they left for the new world to seek their fortune, then they must return to France when they are done, and bring their fortune with them.  Though they left by boatloads for the new world, over the years many thousands ignored the edict and disappeared into the interior.  It wasn’t because they were dying, though some did, given the dangerous circumstances.  They simply never went back.  

Many met indigenous people and assimilated to their cultures.  Others stayed because of the opportunity for mobility.  In Europe, society was rigidly class based.  People from the lower class could not move up, even if they became wealthy.  Birthright was the basis of status.  Born low, stay low.  Born high, stay high.  Regardless of income.  In the new world, they could live as they please.  At great risk from nature or from violence, but nonetheless, as they pleased.  

Crossing the Atlantic in this is not easily done.  

And many come to their end, consumed by violence or the forces of nature. 

But great stories live in the place where risk and reward are juxtaposed.  I invite you to view the unexplored country from the deck of your ship. 

 

Tell me about your risk and reward story in the comments.  

If you need guidelines for commenting on this blog, let’s reach way back to the 1800’s and follow some of Walt Whitman’s good advice:  

 Be curious.  Not judgemental.  

It’s good to learn and grow.  

I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake.  

Self reflection is a powerful tool.  

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person. 

Empathy for your fellow humans is good. 

When the materials are ready, the architects will appear.

Your thoughts will organize themselves when they are free to do so.  

Good luck and thank you for reading. 

Jim