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June 30, 2020 / Congau


Proceed with caution. That would always be the advice. Or maybe better yet: Don’t proceed at all. Stop! Stand still! The world is just too dangerous a place.

But of course that’s not possible. A life without moving is a life without living. It’s self-contradictory to deny one’s own being and therefore it’s impossible. We must move but how much?

The golden mean! Ah, that golden middle ground, the critical point where the scales are in the balance and there’s no too much and no too little. Where is that to be found in the face of danger?

Risk alone is always too risky, and caution without danger is nonsense. But most of the time there is something to gain and something to lose. The point of balance would be where the chance of gaining equals the risk of losing, and a little more or a little less would tip the scale in either direction. The chance of winning ten dollars may merit the risk of losing one.

Unfortunately, though, life is not math, and when actually living most things seem to fall into disproportion. You go for a walk and risk getting hit by a car and killed. The benefit of that insignificant stroll can in no way outweigh the potential loss of life, so it’s just not worth the risk. Or is it?

Well, ultimately that disproportion is present in everything we do, and even in everything we don’t do. Disaster might strike at any moment no matter what precautions we take. From that perspective caution is quite impossible and therefore meaningless.

This is where you must be cautious: Don’t get entangled in thoughts of caution, for once you are in it, you risk getting trapped in a vicious circle: Everything gets riskier, everything becomes dangerous, and you can no longer move. Caution is risky.

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