Life is all about risks. People take risks everyday. Entrepreneurs are people who take risks to innovate or create a business. It's no wonder that some of the best known entrepreneurs make a crap ton of money. Of course the number of entrepreneurs that we all know about are a very small sampling of the number of people who actually are entrepreneurs, because there are many more stories of "failure" or less significant "success" than there are grandios ones like Facebook or Microsoft. People take risks when they get married. With the divorce rate being 1 in 3 as the best statistic I've found (More recently the shocking number of 1 in 2 has cropped up), it's a risk to get married. Being in a relationship is a risk. Obviously the majority of relationships are not successful, or else everyone would get married at thirteen when they fell for the absolutely most "perfect" guy.
Furthermore, some people put themselves in risky situations. Some people buy and sell on the stockmarket regularly. Others have risky jobs that could end with them getting themselves severely injured or killed. Girls might date the bad boy and risk their hearts being broken for the chance to change him (By the way ladies, this is a dumb idea.). You might get in a high risk relationship by knowingly or unknowingly involving yourself with a married person (Don't worry; I'm not speaking from experience.).
Lots of risky things may seem unworth their possible benefits depending on who you are. Some people are simply unwilling to risk being hurt, humiliated, or harmed in anyway. Others go out on a limb so often people question their sanity. In reality, what would the world be like without these risk takers? Who's to say what ideas will take off and which will fail? I would not be able to type on a laptop today if someone hadn't decided to take the risk and invest in creating the computer.
If the parents of great minds such as Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, and Mark Zuckerburg hadn't gotten together and had kids (I have no idea how many of these people have parents who stayed together by the way.), think what we possibly wouldn't have? Marie Curie took a great risk discovering Radium, and she died from radiation. From her sacrifice we have discovered how to use radiation to help treat cancer. Albert Einstein risked his life escaping Nazi Germany, and ended up aiding the discovery of the weapon that ended WWII. Einstein did not like the atomic bomb, but it's hard to argue that the invention did not have an impact. Mahatma Ghandi risked his life leading peaceful protests against British rule in India, but he obviously had an impact on the situation. He was asssasinated by a Hindi extremest who believed that Ghandi weakened India. Of course, Mark Zuckerburg is one of the creaters of Facebook. Perhaps his invention is seemingly unimportant, but the fact that it is such a phenomenon says otherwise. He took a risk in creating the social networking site and running against MySpace. Who knows what other impacts his risk taking will have on the present generation.
That brings me to the average Joe/Josephine, you and me. I have plenty of friends who are skeptical about other friends who are getting married so young. I'm 22, so most of my friends are no more than a few years older than that. Some are younger than me. How many of them will last? No one knows, but not getting married is not the solution to lessening the divorce rate. Now what does a chronicly single girl know about being married? Nothing. I do believe that it is common sentiment among successful older couples that people don't honestly try to work things out anymore. People don't try to fix the problems in their marriages. I'm not saying that you should try to fix your marriage if your husband is a jack ass who beats you and your children. That guy needs a swift kick in the pants and a restraining order, but I am saying that disagreeing on every little thing might require compromise, respect, and communication. Cliche as it is, just like with friendships and relationships with family, marriages take communication. Anything you are unwilling to compromise on should be realized before you get married. If you want to raise your kids Christian and your wife to be is an Agnostic, will they be ok with that? If you want kids right away and your husband to be doesn't want kids for five years, can you compromise?
Technically the average age of a married couple is higher than in the past. One might believe that being more rational and mature would be a good thing. Then again, where's the excitement in being in a completely rational and mature marriage? Does being more established as an individual person make it harder to be a team player? Are we unwilling to take the risks required to create a good relationship? I don't know the answers to any of these questions. I just know that I have more and more single friends who are saying they will never get married. Call me old-fashioned, but that worries me. My friends aren't ten, because at ten I would have agreed with them. For those of my readers who might have been married several years, I pose this question, "Was your marriage worth the risk?" I have a feeling most of you would say yes.
Those of you who have taken other kinds of risks, such as moving to a new city, going to a foreign country, or trying to start a business, what would you be doing if you hadn't taken that risk? Would you be satisfied? The reason I've beaten this subject like a dead horse is because I am one of those non-risk takers. I really prefer things to be cut, dry, and safe. So I have to constantly remind myself that nothing truly great happens to safe people. I'm not saying I need to become a dare-devil, but I am saying that I need to step out of my comfort zone a little. It's a personal growth area, that I'm sure others share with me.
So see if you can take a risk this week. Tell that special guy/girl how you feel. Try that new task your friends have been begging you to try. This week I'm going to drive on the parkway. Go ahead and laugh. This girl has never driven more than 55 mph. It'll be interesting for sure. Leave your thoughts below if you have any. Feel free to agree or disagree with anything you like, just be respectful, and of course explain why.