Growing Up

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

As I cast my fishing line into the neighbor's yard, I'm reminded of my sixth grade math teacher's observation - He's just as happy as if he had good sense.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I Love This Poem - "To Risk"

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Dear K,

I found it many years ago in some bookstore. There's always been a copy of it in my drawer at work. From time to time, I'll look at it, smile and adjust my sails.

Love, dad



"To Risk"

by William Arthur Ward


To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;


And the realist adjusts the sails.

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9 Comments:

Blogger jenny said...

A friend gave me a copy of this years ago & I thought it was the most simple and lovely sentiment I'd ever read. I gave copies to all my mates who also loved it then lost my copy. Boo! For some reason I thought of it tonight and...god love the internet & more importantly you for having it there for me to read again, remember why I loved it in the 1st place & giving me the chance to save & pass it on. Thank you, you lovely person you. Jen xxx

May 03, 2009 5:50 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I cut this poem out of the paper when I was a teenager in the 60's, but it was entitled "The Dilemma". I kept it in my wallet for decades.

March 10, 2011 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-- John Maxwell
wrote the last 3 lines

September 20, 2011 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-- John Maxwell
wrote the last 3 lines

September 20, 2011 8:36 PM  
Blogger Pejagars said...

I first heard this poem in November of 1986 while in a Drug Rehab program at Scott AFB, IL. I cried like a baby realizing this was me afraid to take risks. Realizing I needed to live again. I vowed to meet the man who actually wrote this beautiful and precious poem. In 1994 I was gifted by God to be able to meet shake the hand of the author. In my aw I had forgotten to tell him what the poem had met to me. So today I will thank William A. Ward for writing the poem that saved my life. God Bless you and keep you I will never forget you. With love Pat Jagars.

October 26, 2011 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm writing a what should i do

July 16, 2012 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone wrote The first part of The poem. When will people write their own words for a change.

April 30, 2013 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time i heard about it is trough the band unity. I remember it till now. Maybe it will be complete if we use risk instead of hazard. Just a hunch.

January 21, 2014 8:02 PM  
Blogger LeopardViper said...

My mom gave me this poem when I was a child I have loved it since then and I have never forgotten it. It is one of my motto's yet I always find myself even thou I risk things getting in trouble so do we risk things to appear the fool or not? Society has a stigma that you cant do things wtf and where the fck do you leave ourselves thinking do we or don't we express ourselves? What happened 2 Freedom of Expression?

April 03, 2014 5:00 PM  

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