Thinking about risk

My wife and I have been talking about risk lately (although not necessarily labeling it that way).  There are certainly things that are risky when we do them.  Riding a motorcycle without a helmet, letting an untrained 2 year old walk around your house without a diaper, and standing outside in an electrical storm would all qualify as risks taken by actively doing something.  However, there are also risks in not doing something and that has been the focus of our conversation.

As a collector of quotes, one that has been running through my mind as we chat is one from Gail Sheehy:

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security

To do or not to do…

As we continue our conversation and evaluate the balance of potential growth versus the certainty of present security, there are factors that are both known and unknown that we label as risks.  Although the known factors weigh heavily enough, how does one know the proper weight to give to the unknown factors that may come into play?  My own instinct is that everything happens for a reason and that the unknown variables will fall where they are meant to fall.  On the other side of the coin, the burden of evaluating the unknown can be paralyzing if you allow it to be.

So, where do the greater risks come into play?  In the things we do or in the things we do not do?

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