Thursday, June 17, 2010

Playing It Safe

A young reporter wanted to get a feel for agriculture, so he called upon a farmer and said, “How’s your wheat coming along?”

The farmer replied, “I didn’t plant any.”

“Really?” asked the reporter. “I thought this was supposed to be wheat country.”

“Some say it is,” came the reply. “But I was afraid we might not see enough rain this year.”

“Well, what about your corn. How is it doing?” the young man inquired.

“Didn’t plant corn this year. I was afraid of corn blight.”


“Nope. Afraid the price might drop.”

“Well, then,” asked the reporter, “what did you plant?”

“Nothin’,” the farmer said. “I just played it safe.”

Here is a couple who REALLY played it safe:

The bride, white of hair, is stooped over her cane,
Her footsteps – uncertain – need guiding,
While down the opposite church aisle
With a wan, toothless smile
The bridegroom in wheelchair comes riding.

Now who is this elderly couple, thus wed?
Well, you'll find when you've closely explored it
That here is that rare,
Most conservative pair
Who waited 'til they could afford it!

Do you like playing it safe? If so, I found a Web site you just might love: Dull Men's Club. No excitement there. You’ll never have to leave your comfort zone. The Dull Men's Club, found at, is a place in cyberspace for guys who feel "born to be mild" and enjoy adventure of such activities as watching grass grow and paint dry. I think dull women will like it, too.

But, as most of you know, some of best things in life can only be found after we cast aside a bit of caution. I learned that lesson playing baseball as a child. Ninety feet never seems so long as when you're trying to steal second base. And more than once I was thrown out trying to steal, but what a feeling those times I slid in safely. Joy. Exhilaration. The downside was worth it.

There is a life lesson here: you can't steal second base unless you run away from first. In some things, it is all or nothing. Run flat out or stay back, for there is no changing your mind.

Sometimes it takes courage to do what you’ve never done and go where you’ve never been. It’s like stealing second base – whatever huge decision looms before you, your best solution will likely be made from the side of courage, rather than fear.

If you have any regrets 20 or 30 years from now, what will they be about? I don’t think mine will be about the things I did. I think they will be more about the things I could have done, but was afraid to try. Those times I was afraid to take a chance because I might be rejected or thought to be silly. Those times I was afraid to do something new – make a change – because I was afraid I might fail.

Canadian Claude Thomas Bissell is credited with saying something profound about living life fully. He said,

“Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.”

You can’t always play it safe if you want to LIVE.

-- Steve Goodier

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