Some adventure thrills us while too much risk terrifies. How do we balance our need for security with a hunger for adventure? Our daughter gave me a gift with the words “You can’t steal second base while keeping one foot on first.” The baseball analogy helps me review my choices. What works for you?
I experienced turmoil growing up and then went from a seminary to war and into the peace movement which put me in conflict with my conservative community. I found security in my family and political community and then married Lin, a smart, generous and adventurous woman. I’d made it to first base in life. If I’d maintained my course I might still be on Staten Island but I took a long stretch off first base and moved to San Diego so Lin could attend graduate school. I reclaimed first base when I became Director of a community agency but Southern California was too conservative. When Lin graduated we ran for my second base, toward Saratoga Springs, New York’s Democratic politics, and state government. We had no jobs waiting for us but I found work in a Democratic administration and we bought a house. I was safe on second base. I left the security of government to set up a nonprofit, returned in a new administration and left again to do work in Vietnam. I later established organized labor’s nonprofit, the Workforce Development Institute (WDI).
Two children placed me on third base. When I retired from WDI I had to learn how to stop running bases. With family, friends, community and a fascinating career I had already crossed home plate. I enjoyed taking risks, sometimes running and at others staying close to my base. Now my biggest risk is expressing my opinions.
How do you balance risk and security in your life?