Taking chances, and trying not to do much harm


It’s not me. It’s just an involuntary chemical reaction in response to an external situation. To say, “Look at what an ass I am making of myself again!” is incorrect. It is most certainly not I.



I watched the last part of Boiler Room this morning. It made me think. We’re constantly bothered with ambition and success and with how we compare with our peers, and with people younger than us, and with people older than us when they were our age.

But here’s something to consider: Try not to cause too much harm. If at the end of a day, or at the end of a week, you can look back and say, “I reckon I didn’t do too many things that would cause me or other people trouble down the road,” then you should already be able to give a sigh of relief.

Success, and dreams that become true are then a bonus, not just a stick with which you prod yourself forward every day.

[Here is what the British actor of Yes, Minister fame, Paul Eddington once said during an interview on TV: “A journalist once asked me what I would like my epitaph to be and I said I think I would like it to be ‘He did very little harm’. And that’s not easy. Most people seem to me to do a great deal of harm. If I could be remembered as having done very little, that would suit me.”]


Everyone takes chances. Everyone “gambles”. Playing roulette, opening a coffee shop, getting married, betting on horses, taking a new job, no matter how you spell it or how it comes out of your mouth, it’s all gambling.

FRIDAY, 31 JULY 2009

A few points:

1. A failure, for all practical purposes, and for several good reasons; this is how I appear to myself, to Natasja, to her friends, to my family, and even to my few friends.

2. For this reason, and for the associated desperate need for regeneration, or merely just good old transformation, I am now going to shave off my beard. (Clean: 14:28)