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EB_FebArticle-1We are continually told that the world is a scary place and in many ways it is. A quick flick through any paper shows that. We are told not to speak to strangers, speaker announcements in public places warn us of suspect packages and warning signs are visible everywhere you turn. Often there is good reason, and I would never advocate that people are reckless and carefree all the time. I just also happen to believe that wrapping people up in cotton wool isn’t as good as people think. It gets in the way, means you can’t see anything and also gets itchy after a while in both a literal and figurative sense. People permanently say things are scary. Going to India is ‘scary.’ Taking a new job is ‘scary’ and even the latest Harry Potter film was ‘scary.’ But they are also something else: exciting. When you turn over the adjective scary, on the other side you’ll find exciting. If we acknowledged the fact that things were exciting as well as scary the world would be a far more interesting place. Everyone I know who has travelled, taken risks or done something different has had troubled times. They have made mistakes and at times questioned the decisions they have made. They have, however, done some incredibly exciting and interesting things and very few regret it.

Winston Churchill once said that:

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficult."

The photo above comes from the family I lived with in Liberia in Northern Costa Rica when I was 18. They were incredibly positive, happy children who were unlikely to leave the country in which they were born. In spite of this, their optimism and smiles were awesome and that made me think - surely if they find having a big, strange rambling Englishman coming into their life as something exciting, then I have no right in thinking that traveling the thousands of miles to see them is scary.

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FROM THE EDITOR
At Conscious, remarkable people and organizations inspire us, and so we set out to tell stories that highlight human interest stories, global initiatives, innovation, community development, and social impact. You can read more stories like this when you subscribe.


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