left these days, mainly there are
just risk managers." -Jim Graham
My father was in the Navy for most of his life, and through which has had a full gamut of experiences including being on every continent, being thrown out of helicopters, being in wars, having a lung collapse while at sea, spying on Russia, being spied on by Russia, point being he has had to take lots of risks. This is the home I grew up in. That being said I was really sad the other day when I asked my freshman seminar students if they had any good injury stories (ice breaker). I was sad since they had none. I realized that they had not done many physical things, and within those they had not taken many risks.
My father was in town last week and I told him this and his reply was "There are very few risk takers left these days, mainly there are just risk managers. It was that way when I was leaving the Navy, its a sad state of affairs." My dad and I have a long history of working together. We enjoy tackling projects that we know nothing about. It started when I was a kid and has continued till this day. A couple of summers ago my dad and I deconstructed the suspension and brake system of my truck.
Most recently we installed an attic fan in my house. It was a fun job and a lot less involved than we had planned for, or maybe because we planned so much it seemed easy. There is nothing like cutting a huge hole in your house when you kinda dont 100% know what you are doing. I always like the line by artist Janine Antoni when talking about her tight rope walking work Touch. She said it was not learning to be balanced on a tightrope but more learning to be comfortable out of balance.
I always remember my dad and I trying to fix things that broke because you "couldn't brake them again". It is this curiosity and risk that I am scared is leaving our current culture. I know some of it has to do with the complexity of objects, example: I would never try to fix a cell phone, but i would try to fix a rotary phone. I know it also has to do with a generation that has trouble doing some things independently of others initiatives. Why don't people take risk these days? Is it because of heightened consequence? Fear? Discomfort? Whatever the reason I am becoming convinced this must change.