Take advantage of it now, while you are young, and suffer all you can, because these things don’t last your whole life — Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
People aren’t stupid. The problem is that our educational system has an amazing blind spot concerning risk literacy. We teach our children the mathematics of certainty — geometry and trigonometry — but not the mathematics of uncertainty, statistical thinking. And we teach our children biology but not the psychology that shapes their fears and desires. Even experts, shockingly, are not trained how to communicate risks to the public in an understandable way — Gird Gigerenzer, Risk Savvy
Times like these remind me of the following words from Baz Luhrman’s song ‘Everyone is Free to Wear Sunscreen:
‘Don’t worry about the future, Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind’
The real troubles in our lives often come from the left field. We are left with no other option but to ‘deal with it’. Nonetheless, we humans worry a lot.
However, what if I told you that understanding a key concept intimately could change our lives? My life continues to become more meaningful the more I understand the concept of ‘risk’. One must never fear the ocean instead one must respect it. Similarly, one must also understand and respect risk. In this story, I try to explain risk because my intimate relationship with risk has led me towards a more meaningful life. Risk is essential to our lives. In order to harness risk, a framework to understand it is priceless. Especially now, when the downside seems limitless.