Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dangerous unless proven safe ? I think not.

We've all heard that "innocent until proven guilty" is a basic tenet of justice.

How about a related concept for everyday life: "safe unless proven dangerous".

What I'm getting at is that we often worry about things that may happen in the future and might harm us. This worry translates into stress. For the most part, however, the bad things turn out to be not so bad - and even if they do, we are generally able to cope. Many times we even end up relishing the challenge of coping with them.

So why do we then often presume things to be dangerous unless proven safe - rather than the other way round ?

The problem with this thinking is that there really is no way to prove a thing safe. The world is inherently dangerous - even something as simple as crossing the road can lead to an accident - but if you look both ways and take reasonable care, the chances of this happening are statistically close to none.

I often wonder if this is the difference between an entrepreneur and a dreamer. The entrepreneur does reasonable due diligence, assumes all will be well - or that he will deal with the fallout - and plunges in. The dreamer keeps trying to come up with the infallible, bullet-proof plan - which simply does not exist.

No one would say that we walk into fire blindfolded. But even as we do the required preparation and take all precautions, the mindset needs to be positive - that the world is safe unless proven dangerous.


  1. It all depends on the level of Serotonin in your brain !!! :-)

  2. It all depends on the level of Serotonin in your brain !!! :-)