To Risk

William Arthur Ward


"To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing
     your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams
     before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk to failure.

But risks must be taken because
     the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
     has nothing is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave
     who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free."