YOU SHOULDN’T

You shouldn’t take certain risks. A risk is anything that can be done with conceivable probabilities of the outcome being good or bad. Risk taking has been touted by media with so many fads, that it’s hard to separate truth and false information about risk. So many books would advise you to take calculated risks, which may be good advice.

Before taking any risk, one ought to know whether the odds of success are higher than the odds of failure. If the odds of success of a risk are 95% while the odds of failure are 5%, it may be prudent, rational and reasonable to take such a risk.

Failure, in this context means you survive and continue to play the long game. However, no matter the odds being great but there is a small probability of catastrophic failure, it is wise to let go the flashy side of the risk.

Take for example the deadly game of the Russian Roulette. A player loads a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head. Assume there are 16 chambers in the revolver, odds of the bullet not killing the player are 15/16, which is a convincing probability. The odds of the bullet hitting the player’s head is 1/16, mathematically negligible but awfully catastrophic and ruining.

If, by any bad luck, the gun fires the bullet, the player is dead and longer players the game. The greatest aim of any player is survival and longevity in the game. The ultimate goal may be winning the game, but that is secondary to survival and longevity.

Much of the time, uncountable number of people are playing the Russian Roulette in their lives, say spirituality, relationships, health, et cetera, largely because of the flashy and seducing odds of success. ‘Success’ in this regard may be instant, but ruin is eventual, even after a long time.

Like the temptation of Jesus in the desert, read Luke 4: 1–13, Jesus was promised authority and glory if he accepted to worship the devil. This promise is ‘mouthwatering’ to the sensory minds of humans, but catastrophic and ruining. Success and ruin of a risk can ‘co-exist’ but in different realms (worlds). The benefits, in this context, were in the worldly realm, a physical realm with all its seducing, tempting and shiny material and ego-centric promises. The ruin existed in the spiritual realm, which could only be conceived by a spiritual mind, Jesus has one.

In most cases, a person taking a risk considers one realm of the risk, which is always one the mind knows and understands. The benefits may exist in that realm, but set a domino effect in other realms. A certain person, let’s call her Jackie Dow takes a financial risk with her college tuition, which turns out bad and washes away her funds. She knows no better way to recover the funds than giving in to the promises of a sugar daddy. It is public knowledge, sexually transmitted infections can be prevented with condom use, Jackie Dow knows it as well. Jackie Dow indulges in unprotected sex, gets AIDS/HIV, drops out of school, family and friends deny her, and lives a miserable and unworthy life after. She is ruined and curses the moment she decided to go in with a sugar daddy, all these springing from a financial risk, that had bigger odds of ROI, but smaller and catastrophic odds of failure.

If you were Jackie Dow, the best way to win the Russian Roulette with your spiritual, career, relationship lives, is not to play one.

The inconvenient truth is; we all happen to be the Jackie Dow at every decision making point in our lives.

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Computer engineer and learner.

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