One day last week my son had a day off and he said to me “Let’s go to the beach.” I said, “It’s a crazy idea. – Yes, let’s.”
Some people are spontaneous and some people want to check everything out, and they just can’t bring themselves to do something on the spur of the moment.
This reminds me a little bit of Murphy’s Law, or “If anything can go wrong, it will” has always seemed to me to be a reasonable idea. If you check to make sure the breaks on your car are in working order, it will save you much heartache, and probably your life.
But I have some problems with it when the same concept it applied in what I consider to be unreasonable or extreme ways. At a workshop I once attended, the topic for the day had something to do with choosing between Murphy’s Law and being spontaneous. The idea being put forth was that Murphy’s Law (as it was being applied to life, beyond any meaning Murphy had ever dreamed of) represents an unhealthy attitude toward life. One should always be spontaneous and not worry about checking everything out all the time. I had a strong negative reaction to this because of my own personal experience. There have been times I didn’t give something enough forethought and planning and the results were disastrous.
In the workshop I protested with an example I thought would make perfect sense to the facilitators. “What if my adolescent kid doesn’t take money for the bus because he’s being spontaneous and then he’s hitching a ride home late at night?” This didn’t seem to bother the facilitator, who continued to drive home his point.
On the other hand I can argue just the opposite when Murphy’s Law is used so pervasively that the amount of “checking” and “making sure” that needs to be done would preclude the ability to get anything done.
For some things there just are no guarantees. There is no way to be sure about your success doing something, and you have to take a risk. If you’re afraid to take any risks you’ll never accomplish anything in life. Sure, it might not turn out the way you would like. But if it seems like the right thing to do, you hope for the best.
Probably one person’s reasonable risk is another person’s unreasonable risk. But I think this is one of those things where the truth lies somewhere in the middle. If planning ahead will make life better for you, why not? But if something feels right to do even if you don’t know what the result will be, you don’t have to be immobilized by your inability to see what will come of it.
Maybe the difference is between being able to know the result, where you might as well check it out and take precautions, and being unable to foresee the result, where you have to just trust. Any thoughts?