1: possibility of loss or injury: peril
2: someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
3: the degree of probability of loss
4: the chance that an investment will lose value
Risk (n.): 1660s, risque, from French risqué, from Italian risco, riscio (modern rischio), from riscare “run into danger,” of uncertain origin. The Englished spelling first recorded in 1728. Spanish riesgo and German risiko are Italan loan-words. With run from 1660s. Risk aversion is recorded from 1942; risk factor from 1906; risk management from 1963; risk taker from 1892.
“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.”
Sarah Addison Allen (b. 1971, Asheville, North Carolina author-novelist, whose novels include, “Garden Spells,” “The Peach Keeper,” “Sugar Queen,” and “The Girl Who Chased The Moon”)
“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”
Niccoló Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian Renaissance political philosopher, writer, statesman, secretary of the Florentine republic, whose most famous work, “The Prince,” brought him a reputation as an atheist and an immoral cynic)
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.”
Helen Keller (1880-1968, American educator who overcame the adversity of being blind and death to become one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians, as well as co-founder of ACLU)
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
William Faulkner (1897-1962, came from an old southern family and grew up in Oxford, Mississippi; he was a Hollywood scriptwriter and also wrote novels, short stories, a play and poetry)
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005, American counterculture icon, author, journalist, and activist; best known for writing 1971’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and creating “Gonzo journalism,” first-person experiential journalism)
“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944, Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint Exupéry, French aviator and writer who looked at adventure and danger with a poet’s eyes; best known for “The Little Prince”)
“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.”
Erica Jong (author, best known for her 1973 novel, “Fear of Flying,” which articulated what women thought about when it came to marriage and sexuality)
“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” — Erica Jong
When I was about 12 years old, two years after my mother died, I went to in a great middle school in Downtown Brooklyn. The classes were brightly lit and not overcrowded. Also, there was a diversity of loving teachers, men and women, who came from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
My homeroom’s teacher was Mrs. Cabeza, who happened to be from Puerto Rico. My class was diverse too with students who were black, Hispanic, and white. I even had friends who were from East Asia (China and Japan) and from Europe (France).
One morning, both of the Spanish teachers came together and divided students into two classrooms, those who spoke fluent Spanish and English from those who only spoke English. The teachers needed to know needed a beginner’s Spanish class and an advance one.
Well, my friends who happened to be Puerto Ricans, were very upset that we were going to be separated. Apparently, we had a lot to talk about. So, they convinced me to go with them to the advance class. I told them that I spoke very little Spanish. But, my chatter-box girls friends told me that they would whisper in my ear and give me the answers.
There was one glitch. The teacher, Mr. Barientos, went around to each and every child to ask them questions in Spanish. And when he came to me, I looked the teacher straight in the eye like I knew exactly what he was saying while my friend in the back of me gave the answers in Spanish. I parroted her, confidently, word-for-word. The teacher proceeded to ask me two more sets of questions to see how well I would do. Then he asked me to answer the questions without my friend telling me the answers! Of course, I could not.
So, Mr. Barientos went out in the hallway got Mrs. Cabeza, and the both of them laughed and howled in hallway. They were beside themselves, and I was mortified. After a bit Mr. Barientos came back into the classroom and asked me to get all my belongings. I was to be in Mrs. Cabeza’s class Spanish beginner’s class. To my amazement, I actually exceeded expectations in that class and found that I was actually very good at picking up languages.
I chuckle as I look back at that time when my friends and me risked making complete fools ourselves, but in the end we gave our teachers a lot of joy. As an adult, I would like to be that playful and courageous in risking failure. Somehow, I’ve become too gun-shy and too cautious.
There’s one side-note to this story. Mrs. Cabeza became one of my favorite teachers. She often walked me home through the projects after she saw that three mean-spirited black girls were harassing me, because they thought ironically I was Puerto Rican. God bless Mrs. Cabeza, not only for being a beloved teacher, but for being guardian and protector as well.
Be bold and courageous, sojourners! Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially in love and with playfulness.
Miraculously Yours, Tonya