Pollo en Fuego!

IMG_1344Is just taking risks for the h**l of it good, bad, or neutral?


Loads of teenagers drive drunk and get into accidents every year. Some of them die.


A friend of mine’s dad lit a chicken on fire once. After the gasoline shower and a quick light it nearly caused an entire field to burn. Massive destruction was narrowly avoided.


People do stupid things every day. We’re always hearing stories about people getting themselves into trouble. Their pain often gives regular YouTube goers a laugh.


But lots of people who take risks really do benefit from them.


The Question Is:

Where do you draw the line on which risks are good and which risks are bad?


For rational individuals, should some risks really be ‘off limits’?


Some people would say yes. And I think that to an extent, they would be right. It’s pretty clear that asking for a raise has a high potential to be good, and it’s equally clear that lighting a chicken on fire is a bad idea.


….. maybe.


I don’t think risk taking is this black and white.


I think (this a theory, let me know what you think in the comments!) that different risks can be good or bad in different situations and for different individuals.


Most of us would agree that a flaming chicken is probably quite bad for society at large. In an external sense, this is very true. The farmer who almost lost his crop probably wouldn’t have condoned this kind of behavior.


The point I would add, however, is that the greatest benefits of taking risks rarely go to society at large. The biggest rewards are internal and experienced by the risk taker!


Lets say that, theoretically, my friend’s dad (then a teenager) wasn’t exceptionally outgoing when he was young. Maybe he didn’t feel that he could make a difference and, like many teenagers, lacked confidence.


I think, that if this situation was true, doing something crazy like lighting a chicken on fire may have been a great experience for him. It may have taught him that yes, he could have an effect on the world. It may have shown him that he had the ability to alter the world. It may have shown him responsibilities that he hadn’t previously felt.


Lighting a chicken on fire may have been a great lesson for him, shaping him into a more knowledgeable individual with unique perspectives. (one you can only get by lighting a chicken on fire!)


So….. is Nico crazy? Am I saying we should all go light chickens on fire so that we can feel the fear of nearly destroying our local town?


Of course not. (Thank God)


Thinking only of your internal growth doesn’t take into consideration those around you. It’s a little greedy. It’s only focused on your own growth as a person. The public (and the poor chicken) be damned!!!


I feel that a good goal to strive for is taking risks that help you grow WITHOUT putting others in danger. This seems pretty clear to me.


Before you go out and burn a chicken, I think that different risks can lead to different results for different people. For each of us individually, there are numerous risks we could take that would not benefit us at all.


Every risk, however, has the potential to teach a lesson. It’s all a matter of who needs to learn that lesson that determines who should take a risk.


From a personal growth standpoint, no risk should be entirely off limits. Some people will gain confidence asking for a raise. Some will gain a sense of perspective from lighting a chicken on fire.


For society’s sake, some risks that can hurt others should probably not be allowed. Some things should probably be illegal. Some individuals, I believe, would benefit from doing things that are not allowed.


Are there any risks you’ve taken in the past that helped you grow as a person? Looking back, do they maybe seem foolish now that you’ve had time to put them in perspective? Let me know in the comments below.