No babies should try to walk until we’re sure they’ll not fall down.
No child should take an exam until they’ll get every problem correct.
No learner of a second language should utter a word until they’re sure they’ll pronounce it right.
No one should drive cars until we can guarantee they’re 100% safe from accidents.
No one should leave their houses until all danger is gone (never mind that most accidents occur in the home . . .).
And then everyone will be safe.
But no one will ever have lived.
Do what makes you feel safe, but don’t forget that in this world there’s no such thing as “completely safe.”
Life’s not supposed to be safe. How can we grow in a dull, quiet bubble? We can’t. And why would we want that? The greatest growth comes from the biggest mistakes. We learn more from failures than successes.
Remember Miss Frizzle on the “Magic School Bus”? She was right. (Although I’ll agree that bus was potentially terrifying, still I’d go on it and sit next to Ralphie.)
(Quote from Book 6, Flight of the Wounded Falcon, here and here.)
My mantra . . .
This is what I chant to myself when the kitchen pipe leaks, and black mold destroys the drywall and carpeting in my son’s basement bedroom . . .
When our two ancient vans have one problem after another after another . . .
When my plans for the day get blown out of the water by a minor crisis, so that the next day I have twice as much to take care of, until another small disaster hits, which means the day after that will be three times as busy . . .
When finances take a hit, when goals get delayed, and deadlines loom, when hurdles get larger, and rewards grow smaller, and the world mocks and rages and derides . . .
Or when I can’t even resolve the little things, like finding comfortable shoes for my huge and wide man-feet, or hemming my daughter’s prom dress by the weekend, or taking my preschooler on a walk to the park, that’s when I remember . . .
Oh, that’s right. I’m not here on vacation. I’m here on a lifelong test.
(I could, however, use a ten minute break . . . )