Are We Too Risk Conscious These Days by Bakhtawar Ahmed

Sunday, April 16, 2017 KELS 1 Comments Category : , ,


An energetic young boy
All his life he had been so coy
That he surprised all by speaking against the ploy
Of his daddy, that even it made him wry

“Dear son”, he said, ”Oh son”, he cried,
It’s now time for you to decide
Whether in your life you want to take a smooth ride
Or endeavor to sail over threatening tides

I now consider you the heir
Of my business enterprise
You are now the one to rear
The business I have built all my life

“Daddy”, he said, “Oh daddy”, he cried,
“It’d be better for me, not from you to hide
That this one time, I am not going to bide
What you for me did decide

My passion, my love is to pursue
Research in my future life
I’ve always wanted to do something new
On the mysteries of science to shed some light.”

“But son”, he said, “BEWARE!”
“It’s too risky for you to dare
To do something new is as full of danger
As confiding your secrets in a stranger.”

“Daddy,” he said, “for humans to progress,
‘Tis imperative for us to transgress
From the societal norms
Though others may think it can cause harm.”

“What if you won’t anywhere get hired?
What if everyone refuses you a job?
What if you can’t even clear the exams?
That are, it seems to me, designed to fail all.”

“Oh daddy”, he said, “had Columbus thought,
What if on my voyage by pirates I am caught?
What if I get lost in the ocean,
By sharks I am eaten or drowned by some storm?

Would he have discovered America at all?

These What-iffers in the disguise
Of a wise and calculated approach to life
Hinder the way of humans to achieve the great
Or to make one’s wildest dreams come true

“Daddy”, he says, “just think for a while
If Wrights had wanted to stay on safe side
Refused to take some choices so hard
Would any plane now take flight?

Today our minds are so preoccupied
We deem on money, on safety does depend our life
That we are so hesitant to let our children,
Tread on grounds never trodden before.

“Oh son, my son! Please think wise,
At your reckless age such thoughts seem nice
But this can be the cause of losses so huge
So it’s best for you to be safe and be good!”

“Heavens”, he said, “I leave it to you,
To answer if one would like to be safe and be good
Or to take a chance and be great?
To cajole you I think this query’s a nice bait
To put it in the words of Helen Keller
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”.
And quoting Goethe, another famous poet
“Safety’s among life’s dangers infinite.”

We have become so risk conscious these days
Always afraid to try new ways
Gratified to stay as a pupa in cocoon,
Hesitant to discover the delights of life’s maze

“Oh my son, it’s been the yearning of my heart
From which, the way you talk it seems I’ll have to part
To see you settled with a happy life
And cute little children, a beautiful wife

I thought you’d be the one to run
My business while I would play with the grandchildren
And in the evening when you would return
We would all together have great fun

Even now it’s not too late,
For you to decide your own fate
Do not let these contagious thoughts raid
Your mind. I hope they’ll eventually fade.”

“I am sorry dad you might think I am bad,
But let me reiterate
That man is never born a slave
To society, to parents, to curbs, no not a tad.

We live our lives to do great deeds
Risk consciousness to me is just a weed
To be removed from among our desires
To let thyself really live thy’s life.”

Now that you have read what the son said,
You can relate the conversation to yourself
Because in our society, risk averse-ness is so wide spread
Though people can’t be blamed because that’s how they were bred

Just ask yourself, what is the cause
Of us lagging behind all?
It would not be wrong to say
Risk consciousness had got in the way

By giving some examples let me reiterate

When it’s time for betrothal for a girl
For her mom to select her possible suitor
A boy of the clan she’d prefer
By the unhappiness of her daughter she will not be deterred

Because the mom has so many misgivings in her head
About anyone who’s been in some distant land bred,
The prospect for such a man seems to her paltry
Because an “outsider” is unacceptable to avert any jeopardy

As on mind uncertainties crowd
About many things people are in doubt
Their instinct will push ‘em to seek the truth
To take a risk, but in our society, it’s disallowed

The cavemen had a mind so brave
They didn’t fear to undertake
A journey to some distant land
That was for discovery’s sake

As they settled in places new
Their worries lessened to a few

Eventually it brought them to where we are
Hurrah! Risk taking did it all

If Robert Frost were here today
This is what he would say,
“Two roads diverged in the woods, and We,
We took the one more traveled by,
And that has created all the woes"

To the risk averse society of present day,
Anais Nin for you has something to say
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud,
Was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

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