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.