I’ve always hated getting in trouble…or even the thought of getting in trouble. I may bend the rules now and then but it’s based on a calculated risk. It’s about determining at what point the scales balance more toward reward than risk…and the moment they tip too far toward risk, it’s time to back off.
I’ve held to this standard most of my life except for one really stupid risk. Drinking and driving. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve done it. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve done it within the past month.
I’m incredibly lucky to have never gotten pulled over. In fact, writing this makes me feel like I’m shaking the Magic 8 Ball and might not like the answer. Most of my friends have gotten busted at one time or another (teen years or as adults) for making this very dumb decision that I still make on occasion.
So for me to be pissed at friends for making similar dumb decisions is quite hypocritical…I know this. But in my mind, it’s a valuation of risk vs reward. It’s about what you have to lose…what you want to gain…who you want to be.
In stepping back and looking at behaviors (mine and friends) objectively, I can see how my behavior at times has been self destructive. Maybe that’s why I see it so clearly when friends are heading down the same dangerous road.
As much as I want to stomp my foot….shake my fists…knock some sense into their heads, I can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do…something that I’m not necessarily prepared to do. But if I do what I wish my friends would do…if I’d step back and truly measure what I have to lose by continuing to make bad decisions…I’d have to agree that it’s not worth the risk to drive my car home 4 blocks when I could just as easily walk and get it the next morning.
And because I’m too invested in my present and future opportunities to continue to gamble with a decision that eventually will result in an answer I don’t like, I’m making a commitment to no longer make such dumb decisions. To no longer drive home after I know I’ve had too many to pass a test. It doesn’t matter how safe I think I’m being, there are people and circumstances beyond my control that can directly impact my ability to make it home safely. And it’s not worth risking my home…and everything I’ve spent so long building.
Each person will make their own decisions. I know this. Every one decides what they are comfortable risking. The challenge is stepping back and identifying what’s being risked…facing the potential…and then deciding what to do. Is that [fill in the blank] really worth it…whatever “it” is? Only you can decide. Choose wisely.