Common Raven (Corvus corax), Kugluktuk, Nunavu...

Image via Wikipedia

I was driving along a quiet road next to a national park the other day and saw three ravens on the road in front of me.

Instead of flying away, they hopped across to the other side of the road as I approached.  At first I thought that they were at risk, then I remembered that ravens are reasonably intelligent birds and must know what they are doing.

As I drove on another car came the other way, so I looked in my rear view mirror to see what the birds would do.

Two of them comfortably moved to one side, but the other one took too long and ended up being hit by the other car.

As I drove off, surprised by what I had seen, I realised that many people are like that raven, taking unnecessary risks that can jeopardise their future and have significant, avoidable implications.

They think that they can risk doing the bare minimum in their job without anyone noticing, until one day it’s time for retrenchments and they are the first to be let go.

They think that they can risk habitually speeding in their car, until another driver does something that they don’t expect and a serious accident occurs.

They think that they can risk smoking, until a doctor tells them that they have terminal lung cancer.

They think that they can risk “innocent” office flirting, that turns into infatuation, that turns into lunch, that turns into unnecessary physical contact, that turns into an affair, that ends a marriage.

They think that they can risk not going to church anymore, until they have watered down their beliefs and lost their faith.

Risks are important.  To be successful, you need to be able to act with boldness at the risk of making mistakes.

However, there are risky behaviours that we should, and can avoid.

Many people think that they can be an exception to the rule, that they’ll somehow be able to dodge the consequences, but alas, the rules always apply.

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