"Condemned if you do, condemned if you don't" (in nicer words, of course), "It's Catch-22," "Isn't it ironic," and "No good deed goes unpunished" are all familiar phrases that express how life is full of risks. As the old saying goes, "There are only two things that are certain in life: death and taxes."
Living healthy comes with risks, just like living unhealthy comes with risks. Exercising could keep your body strong for a long time, but you could also get injured by it. Taking a multivitamin could promote good health, but it could also cause health issues. Drinking raw milk could take your allergies away, but there could be bacteria in it that could kill you. I think about the song Michael Jackson sang in "The Wiz" called, "You Can't Win." And with information being so abundant on the internet, you could find pros and cons in ANYTHING that you wish to do. Bottled water, once thought to be safer than tap water, is considered just as toxic by some sources. Drinking pure rain water, which you think would be the healthiest source of water, may be laden with chemicals in the air. The word "organic" doesn't necessarily mean that the food hasn't been sprayed. Man, you really can't win!
While pondering all of life's ironies, I realized that there is no way to go around risks. Life is full of risks, and if you want to live life, then you need to take risks. There is NOTHING that you do that is risk-free. Even if you bought an item from a television program, you may be able to get your money back if you're not satisfied with the item, but you'll still have to pay the cost of shipping and handling. So, did you truly get a refund? Once you punch in your credit card info, you've just tossed caution out the window.
In order to live life with boldness, you need to take risks. You need to accept that today's actions won't guarantee tomorrow's results. Going for your college degree won't guarantee you a job. Getting married to the person you thought was right for you won't guarantee that your spouse won't leave you. Raising children the "right way" won't guarantee that they won't fall by the wayside once they get older. Working hard on your job won't guarantee promotion. Driving the speed limit doesn't mean you won't get pulled over for something else. Eating right and exercising won't promise that you would improve your health, and in unique cases, doing these things might kill you.
There's a book in the Bible that's solely focused on life's ironies. The Book of Ecclesiastes was written by the third king of Israel, King Solomon, and in this book he writes about his observations of life. The one thing he noticed about life, the one thing that truly distressed him, was that everything seemed so random. You could work hard to give your children an inheritance, but your children could squander that inheritance. You could work hard to get a job promotion, but some newbie with no experience could get hired in your job and take the position you wanted. It's like a person who won the lottery, just to get cancer and die soon afterward. And it's like a person who eats right and exercises who drops dead on a treadmill.
All these ironies could be depressing. And you know what? It is what it is. Life comes with risks, and as long as you want to live it, then you need to take risks. Staying put because you're scared to do anything would be just as risky as going out to do something. The only difference is that by doing something, you're more likely to accomplish something. Doing nothing usually results in nothing happening.
I think about the song written by Martina McBride called "Do It Anyway." Some of the lyrics are as follows: "You can spend your whole life building something from nothing. One storm can come and blow it all away. Build it anyway. You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach, and you know that it might never come your way. Dream it anyway." I love songs with a powerful message...and those songs are usually gospel or country (this song is country). This song shows that even though life makes no promises, keep moving forward as if something good would come out of your efforts.
While reviewing the best multivitamins to take, I came to the conclusion that ALL multivitamins work (some better than others), and that ALL multivitamins come with risks. In fact, ALL supplements (multivitamin, oil tablets, herbal capsules) are good and ALL supplements come with risks. Putting anything in your mouth comes with no guarantees. So, why stress over what is considered "safe" and "unsafe?" Just take the supplement anyway. You're condemned if you do, and you're condemned if you don't. Just take the risk that would more likely be in your favor and hope for the best.
Going back to Ecclesiastes, as depressing as the book could seem, the author does offer practical hope. Regardless of any risks that you have to take, just be sure to enjoy whatever it is that you do. "Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life." (Ecclesiastes 5:18 NLT) In other words, do what brings you joy and don't work so hard to change your situation.
When you think about it, having joy is one of the most important things you could accomplish in this life. Even if nothing comes from your ventures, well, at least you enjoyed doing them. When we were children, we simply had JOY in whatever we did without expecting anything more. I know that while I LOVED writing and drawing when I was a kid, I didn't expect to make a living from these activities. I just enjoyed the activities for what they were. As we become adults, we get so focused on doing stuff that counts, on chasing careers and promotions, on getting everything that our neighbors have. We focus on the bad situations that we're in and work tirelessly to change our situations. According to King Solomon, life is so random that nothing you do comes with any promises, but the best thing you could do is to accept whatever life you have and to focus on the things you enjoy.
The novel that you write may make you money or it may not. All the hard work you put into that garden might be destroyed by a hurricane. All the exercises that you do may help you lose weight or it may not. Don't do ANYTHING expecting some risk-free guarantee. Nothing in life comes without risk. But if you enjoy the activity, just do it and hope that something good would come from it.
The most joyous people are those who don't care about what the future holds for them. They are just focused on TODAY and doing the things they enjoy. If you enjoy good health, take those vitamins. If you enjoy having a strong body, do those exercises. If you enjoy speaking in different languages, then continue learning new languages. Do whatever you want to do because you enjoy it, and don't avoid it because it comes with risk. Just do it anyway, as McBride suggests in her song.
The more you're willing to risk, the more joy you could have in this life. Put aside your fear of germs, getting killed, getting hurt, getting sick, and all that. I do promise this one thing to you: if you're always scared to do something new, you WILL be depressed your entire life. You could live life to the fullest and die by 50 years old, or live the rest of your life in a nursing home because you've gotten so sick that you can't do anything for yourself.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.