Jump Off a Cliff

I’m a full-time risk taker.  When I’m standing on a cliff, looking across a chasm, I will always jump.  It doesn’t matter how far it is to the other side – I am going to jump.

I do this because I have discovered that I would rather be bloody and broken at the bottom of a ravine than walking away from the edge of a cliff, wondering if I could have made the jump if I tried.

Let me be clear – I’m not suggesting that this is a way for everyone to live. The law of averages says that if you live this way you’re going to end up broken and bloody at the bottom of a ravine sometimes, trust me when I tell you that I have and do, and that kind of risk is not for everyone.  Risk has rewards to be certain.  But safety has…well, safety.

When I fall and I remember “The Lion in Winter” (as quoted on The West Wing):

Prince Geoffrey:  You fool…as if the way one fell down mattered.

Prince Richard:  When the fall is all that’s left, it matters a great deal.

So I never just give up and fall.  I kick and scream, I try to fly, I grab for the vines and the rocky outcroppings.  Sometimes I catch myself and climb back up, sometimes someone throws a rope.  Sometimes I hit the bottom, hard.

But what I have found to be true for me is that bloody and broken, however painful, heals.  The way I feel when I turn and walk away from the edge never heals.

So I jump.

I succeed.  I celebrate.

I fall.  I heal.

And I fling myself full-force into the abyss again.  Thoreau said that most men lead lives of quiet desperation.  I’m am not most men, and so I jump.

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm  Comments (6)  

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love the quote!!! I always think the manner in which I fail matters so much because it can keep you from making the same mistake the same way twice. Plus it usually means you’ll fail spectacularly :) Always a bonus LOL

  2. I mean spectacular in STYLE not in INTENSITY. Although both are always possible :)

  3. Oh my goodness. This is the best blog post I have read all year, from anyone. I love it! What a well spoken, crisp analogy. You make me proud and inspired at the same time. I just read to Dawn and she is very impressed as well and says you are a great writer. Thanks for sharing MD.

    • Wow, thank you CA. High praise coming from someone who I respect so much. I’m glad that you liked it and as always thank you so much for your friendship and support – it means the world to me :)

  4. Wow Ragen, I’m with Brad. Most excellent post. It reminds me of the ‘DARE’ link you posted recently. Why go backwards when you can take an exhilarating leap into the future?! Thanks for your inspiration!

  5. Ragen –

    Your writing is a breath of fresh air. Thank you, and please keep it coming.


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