A few years ago we were visiting a beach on the island of Oahu. The waves were quite forceful and the warning flags were out. Since I am a strong swimmer I wasnít very concerned and waded out into water. It was rough and the waves were stirring up the sand near the shore. I got out and my bikini bottom contained a lot of sand. While I was ashore Maurice told me I ought to take my Maui Jim glasses because the water was so rough. I didnít and went back in to get rid of my sand butt. I figured Iíd just go out past the waves at the shore and shake the sand out of my bottoms in the water. Unfortunately I did not accomplish this because a big wave knocked me off my feet and sent me tumbling in summersaults underwater. I was flipped over and over under the water for several terrifying seconds, and then the sea spit me out. My parents were on the shore and thought this was funny and I climbed out of the ocean feeling a bit shell shocked. Maurice of course pointed out that I had not taken off the glasses which were nowhere to be found. I gained a new respect for the ocean that day.
Later I thought about how stupid I was and realized I had underestimated the risk. Sort of like playing with matches and thinking you wonít get burned. As a parent Iíve warned my kids of dangers and watched them jeopardize their safety. Hereís the problem, when you take a risk you might, suffer a bad consequence but then again you might not. The question is how likely is the negative consequence to happen? When I am waiting in line to go through security at the airport, I find myself wondering, how likely is it that someone is going to blow up the plane with some liquid in all these little containers, and how likely is it that they could simply go in the bathroom and fill up? Is the possible threat worth all this caution? The TSA people would say it is, and thatís the choice you and I make when we are considering risk. Every day we face risks and make choices, many times not even aware of it. If we stopped to consider every potential threat we face in life we could become paralyzed by fear. We cannot live that way so we make choices based on our risk tolerance comfort level and the likelihood of the possible peril. Another thing to consider is our past performance, how are you doing assessing the risks and chances you take in life? How successfully do you evaluate risk?
ďSafety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.Ē Ė Jeff Cooper