Editor’s note: The following was presented by Bennett Wheeler ’14 during the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday, May 24, 2014.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naïve.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, and has nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, or live.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.