Rebirth of Reason

The Good Life

To Err or Not to Err
by Elizabeth Kanabe

We always see those who have quit drugs, smoking or drinking say is "Don't do it! It's not worth it, I made that mistake for years and have learned the errors of my ways!" I never quite understood this. Did each of them have to hit the bottom to realize the mistakes in their choices? Most people will agree that it is best to never put yourself in those extreme situations. The foresight to avoid the problems that come with addiction and abuse is the best way to go. No one will argue that you should make mistakes just to overcome and learn from them first hand.

If the abuse example is easy to answer, what is the right thing to do in situations that are less obvious with the possible outcomes? To what extent should you avoid them? It is usually well known what the effects of engaging in things such as drugs and alcohol are. But we are faced with decisions everyday that have less clear-cut consequences associated with them.

These are the business ventures that might fail, the love that might be lost, and the car accidents that might occur as a result of going to a concert. What is the best balance for taking chances in life? We know that there are risk takers and risk avoiders. But risks aren't always as easy as a gamble at a casino or investing where you know how much money it is that you stand to lose.

I was upset a few weeks ago at the amount of mishaps that were occurring in my life. I had a very difficult move, I never got some money that someone owed me, I lost my phone a couple of times, I got a parking ticket and so on. I was frustrated that my life was so 'out of control' it felt because I had made these mistakes, and that if I just didn't have these bad things happen (which can really add up in cost as far as money, energy and time goes) things would be great. I envied those that weren't foolish enough to lose money by not reading all the fine print, leaving things behind, having people break promises, being in accidents and so on. But then I realized what it would mean for me to avoid these things.

I could ensure my well-being and money loss if I just did one simple thing. Did less. It was in all of the places that I went, activities that I participated in and people that I interacted with that these bad things happened. But the good also happened along with the bad. I decided that while these things were unfortunate, I wasn't about to take the necessary steps to ensure that they didn't happen again. I learned from each situation and do my best to avoid what I can in the future, but inevitably they will occur again, possibly worse than in the past.

I used to envy my friends that seemed to have everything under control. But as they pointed out, their control is due to less risk. They may not endeavor in many situations unless they are sure of the outcome or at least feel in control. They may not feel comfortable jumping into something feet first and having an adventure. They may miss out on some things. I personally love my adventures and plan to keep having them.

So there might be some middle point here, or people will prefer to stay on one side or the other when it comes to their venture into the unknown. I should think about things that I could avoid before I go into a situation more than I do now. I should read more fine print and ask more questions. I learn from my mistakes. But what is better? Is it better to experience more and take the bad with the good, or to only enter situations when you are confident and can protect yourself as best as possible? There's no clear answer to me. It's impossible for me to say what mistakes are worth making and which ones you should be prepared enough to avoid. Since it's not possible to do so much and avoid all problems, it comes down to another choice, which is whether to participate and possibly err, or not to participate at all.

Sanctions: 5Sanctions: 5 Sanction this ArticleEditMark as your favorite article

Discuss this Article (2 messages)