Why Risk?

Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt   

We went out for lunch this week to a new restaurant started by a couple who already have a successful catering business. The food was wonderful and the service was excellent, but I wondered what would possess them to start a new venture into the unknown when they are already successful in their own niche. Why rock the boat? Why not simply settle and enjoy what you’ve already built? I mean it can’t be easy to start a new restaurant in a town already crowded with some incredible eateries. How would you even find your patrons? How do they find you?

It was destined to be a week of questioning.

A friend suggested I take a yoga class with her in a newly opened yoga studio. It was a wonderful class and the studio was beautiful, but again, I was left wondering who would take such a bold risk in a town where so many studios have come and gone. Besides, there are similar offerings in Whistler already.

I don’t know why I think of these things. I’m curious. Most of the time this inquisitive mind of mine helps me to make sense of me. This time I drew some other parallels. 

Organizing a festival, along with the other literary programming we volunteers have been putting together in Whistler for the past sixteen years (God, has it been that long?) is work any sane human being should question. It’s work you go into with nothing more concrete than a dream and a belief you are creating something special, something different for your community. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve tried to quit many times, but instead, I add, experiment, change things up always believing that what we have to offer is unique and worth doing despite all the risks involved.

I realise I’m not that different from those optimistic restaurant and yoga studio owners. We have our reasons for doing what we do, but at our core we know that life is about making a difference even when it scares the pants off of you.

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