High 5 – 16 September 2016 by Mr Qaleelullah
Good morning Mdm Tan, Mr Lee, Mr Chow, colleagues and Gessians. Today, I will share a story about responsible risk-taking.
Once upon a time, two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil. One day, the first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and push my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me. I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals.” On the other the hand, the second seed said, “I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me, I may damage my delicate sprouts. What if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No. It is much better if I wait inside the soil until it is safe.” And so, the first seed started to grow and the second remained as it is in the soil. A few days later, a hen came along, scratching the ground with its beak in search of food. The hen reached the soil where both the seeds were. Guess what happened next. Yes, as some of you might have guessed, the hen found the second seed and promptly ate it. The moral of the story – those who refuse to take risk, do not grow.
Gessians, many a time, during our daily lives all of us encounter risks like the seeds in the story. For example, the girl who raises her hand in class to ask a question risks feeling embarrassed or inadequate. The boy who has difficulty with Math, but attempts to do his Math homework himself risks feeling frustrated and incompetent. The student in a Sports CCA who is not confident about his or her performance but steps forth to represent the school risks feeling dejected and rejected. Even the Student Leaders running for the Head Prefect position who make themselves vulnerable to scrutiny and criticism risk feeling unworthy because of failure. In the face of such risks and many more, there are some of us who would take a step forward, push ourselves beyond our boundaries and grow just like the first seed. But, sadly, many of us might choose to take a step back and remain in our safety bubble like the second seed, thus stunting our growth and development. The small difference between stepping forward to take the risk and stepping backward to hide from the risk will define the ones amongst you who will soar towards great heights and the ones amongst you who will remain on the ground achieving little or nothing. Having said that, before we take any risks we have to evaluate and ensure that we are taking a responsible risk. A boy who decides to ride a bicycle blindfolded in a public carpark because he wants to impress his girlfriend is definitely taking an irresponsible risk. Similarly, the girl who decides to jaywalk because she is late for school. Any risk which can bring harm upon you or others is an unhealthy and irresponsible risk. If we recall the 4 four examples I mentioned earlier, the girl who raises her hand to ask questions in class, the boy who is not good at Math but attempts his Math homework on his own, the student in a Sports CCA who steps forth to represent the school and the student leader who runs for Head prefect – these are examples of responsible risk-taking. Regardless of whether their actions lead to immediate success, the fact that they dare to take such risks contributes significantly to their growth and development as a person.
To sum up, taking responsible risks is not only normal but necessary for each and every one of us to grow. Risk-taking is a part of development. Remember Gessians, that if we as a baby, had not taken the risk of taking our first step then we would not be able to walk now. The person, who risks nothing, has nothing and eventually becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow today, but he simply will not be able to learn, feel, change, grow, love and live tomorrow. So, dare to dream. Take responsible risks and be the catalyst of your own growth.