(At one point I wanted that to be the tag line for my dental practice, but I digress😉)
“The risk of failure, of Pain,
The thing that we seek to prevent the most in our lives,
just happens to be the very thing that fuels our growth
and gives us the passion to truly live.”
While visiting the Italian Amalfi Coast several years ago, I was struck by the care-free nature of the Italians on their little motorino’s on such precarious motorways! At first this was a very shocking experience to the relatively conservative hyper-safety conscious sensibilities of an American such as myself.
In various states of dress and numbering up to four people, little “college student type” mopeds, would shoot around my car on “blind corners” as I cautiously navigated a single laned road barely wide enough to accommodate my subcompact 3 cylinder conveyance. Their nonchalant demeanors had me slack jawed and nearly cursing at their cavalier hubris!
With sighs and ululations, we made our way down the 250+ steps of hewn stone steps cut into the side of a rock cliff. Rounding our last switchback, a magical villa adorned with thistle colored bougainvillea overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea was revealed to us. The sweat on my brow and the discontent in my heart and mind vanished in an instant and was replaced by an overwhelming sense of awe and gratitude.
On the kitchen table lay a set of instructions attempting to allay the fears of we timid sojourners. The note read, “We Italians don’t care so much about safety, so relax and it will all be ok”, or something to that effect. This provided us much fodder for subsequent conversations as to the superiority of our rule based, predictable and safe culture back home.
Though I’ve always been a risk taker, it still took me a few years after that experience to understand the gravity of that little note on the kitchen table. Being safe keeps us breathing, it just doesn’t foster much passion for living.