Safety rails are designed to keep us safe, obviously. They are in place for a purpose, and that purpose is safety.

When I was young, I used to come to a flight of stairs that had safety rails on each side. I loved to spread my arms while grabbing a rail with each hand, and slide my hands as far out in front of me as they would possibly go. I would thrust my pelvis forward and see how many stairs I could jump in one pass. My use of the safety rails was to vault myself down flights of stairs in one leap (which is probably not what they were intended to be used for). I was much younger then, and lots has changed, particularly age, weight, and the fact that most everything hurts, most of the time.

I profess that I like to live dangerously, I boast that I do not follow rules, I maintain that I do not like being told what to do; however, I almost always use the safety rails.

I am glad we have police officers. I appreciate that we have laws. I feel fortunate that there are rules to be followed. I often claim that I don’t like following the rules, but I don’t want to live in a lawless society, either.

It seems that there is a level of risk that I am comfortable living within, but I don’t want to get to far outside of that window. I want to live dangerously enough that my life is exciting and my adrenaline pumps, but I want to stay safe enough that I am not afraid all the time. I want a “home base”. I want a place I can return to when I feel threatened or scared.

I will tell you a story that I find incredibly interesting. My friend, Rowan White, has a blog that is focused around the importance of playing more outdoors. He is quite knowledgeable in the field of outdoor sports and activity. (He is also a big believer in community which is one of the reasons I like him so much.) Rowen fed me this information:

“Despite all the advances in knowledge and safety equipment throughout the years, the fatality rate stays roughly the same. Researchers have concluded that there is a basic level of risk we find acceptable, so rather than a new safety device reducing danger, it simply allows us to push our limits further than before.”

Essentially, this implies that we are all comfortable with a certain amount of risk. We are going to do a certain amount of stupid things. I would dare say that some of us need a certain amount of risk in order to function. I believe that there is an amount of risk necessary for me to stay one step ahead of depression. There is a level of excitement I need present in my life to keep my mouth off of the bottle. And, there is a degree of chance I need to take to keep myself from finding fun in a bottle of pills.

I say all of this to say, I think it is important to be safe and not be a complete dumbass (which seems to be harder for me than most), but I also think that taking risks is part of the lifeblood that keeps some of us alive and safe at the same time.

Risk is required to keep me safe.

Danger is part of what minimizes risk.

Insecurity is part of my safety net.

Take some chances. Have some fun.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,