November 19, 2009
Risk is too much maligned in western culture these days and that has begun to seriously piss me off. It wasn’t always so. The west, the US in particular, used to be a place where risktaking was understood to be a fundamental component of life; successful life especially.
A life free from risk is a life bereft of liberty, a life of bondage, and it kills the human spirit. This fact has never and will never change, but the definition of liberty is being redefined and the culture restructured in my country in a foolish effort to remove risk. The foundation of what built this nation is crumbling in the process.
For designers, for business, just as for nations, risk is the essential component to great success. Nothing risked means nothing of significance gained. But for those willing to take bold risks; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would be a farcical, utopian pipedream. But for those willing to take bold risks, everything we know and possess would be diminished.
Risk is what built my country into the greatest, most productive (and most benevolent, I might add) nation on earth. Capitalism is risk. Working to malign the idea of risk and basing sweeping policy and cultural changes on the notion of removing risk from life is about the most misguided and destructive effort one could undertake. Yet that is exactly what is happening right now. Nothing good will come of this stupidity. The dauntless spirit of the West is becoming increasingly daunted. I put it to you that this is a dangerous path and that the results will be disastrous. Have a nice day.
So yesterday, in a fit of indignation, I started writing a bunch of maxims, riffing on the concept of taking bold risks. The results were soon translated into 6 desktop wallpapers and I thought I’d share them. If you’re anything like me and you recognize the fundamental value of taking bold risks, you might slap one of these babies on your screen as a daily reminder. Please enjoy.