Until It's Safe!

From Pastor: FOOD FOR THOUGHT! Saw this yesterday and I thought you might need this. After article, I will comment. PJ

'Until it's safe' means 'never'

Dennis Prager explains why leading a full life must include taking risks

In a recent "Fireside Chat," my weekly talk show on the

PragerU platform, I commented on society's increasing

fixation on being "safe." The following is a condensed version

of what I said:

We have a meme up at PragerU: "'Until it's safe' means 'never.'"

The pursuit of "safe" over virtually all other considerations is

life-suppressing. This is true for your own individual life, and it

is true for the life of a society.

I always give the following example: I have been taking visitors

to Israel for decades, and for all those decades, people have

called my radio show to say, "Dennis, I would so love to visit

Israel, but I'm just going to wait until it's safe." And I've always

told these people, "Then you'll never go." And sure enough, I've

gone there over 20 times, and they never went.

I have never led my life on the basis of "until it's safe." I do not

take ridiculous risks. I wear a seat belt whenever I'm in a car

because the chances are overwhelming that in a bad accident, a

seat belt can save my life. But I get into the car, which is not

100% safe.

You are not on earth to be safe. You are on earth to lead a full

life. I don't want my epitaph to be, "He led a safe life." It's like

another epitaph I don't want: "He experienced as little pain as


The nature of this world is such that if you aim for 100% safety

and no pain, you don't live. I have visited 130 countries, some of

which were not particularly safe. Safe, as in "no risk," doesn't

exist. Accepting there are degrees of safety and balancing risk

with reward are part of the reason I've led a rich life.

I'll give a personal example. I started teaching myself to conduct

an orchestra when I was in my teens. I have conducted

orchestras periodically for much of my adult life. As a guest

conductor, I raise funds for orchestras, as I did two years ago at

the Disney Concert Hall, where I conducted a Haydn symphony

with the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra.

Now, I rarely get nervous. But the first time I conducted, I was

so nervous I was actually dripping sweat onto the score – and it

was only a rehearsal.

What I did was not play it safe. Playing it safe would have

meant I wouldn't have accepted the invitation to conduct.