|Hot Air Balloon|
I glance at the morning sky and spy a hot air balloon drifting across the valley. This part of the country displays the most vibrant autumn colors, and hot air balloon rides provide a terrific (although terrifying) vantage point.
I’d never do it. A balloon? A basket? Me in there, high above the earth? Never.
Moments later, I stand in front of college students who do remarkable things despite fear. They visit Egypt on archeology trips; they study Latin American countries so they can travel and negotiate border disputes; they enlist in the Army and await deployment; they go into prisons and practice rehabilitation methods.
Unsafe things. Terrifying things.
Yesterday, my neighbor tells me her oldest daughter is mastering Arabic so she can spend a year in the Middle East.
“Isn’t that really unsafe? Aren’t you so scared?”
“Of course,” she says.
Of course it’s unsafe. Of course she’s scared. But something else matters more than her fear.
Later, I’m talking with a friend about her husband’s new job offer. A huge unknown. A huge gamble. She’s terrified.
I tell her to surrender to the adventure of it. If you know what’s going to happen, that’s not adventure, that’s a script. That’s a high-action drama with a plot-spoiler. Don’t give the fear power. If there’s fear, it just means the adventure is that great.
No fear, no adventure.
The spirit of adventure I see in younger folks challenges me to move ahead in the face of fear. Of course it’s scary. Most adventures are. That’s what makes them adventures.