Monday, October 27, 2008
Just because you can, doesn´t mean you should.
I´ve always been a risk taker, but I learnt early on in life to identify my boundaries and when to stick to them.
Know your limits to take conscious risks.
People who keep playing on the edge, eventually fall off.
I was sixteen when my parents allowed me out to a nightclub for the first time.
The rules were simple:
No alcohol or substance abuse
Respect the curfew.
I knew that as long as I kept to these rules, I had freedom.
I also knew, that the day I disrespected these rules, I know longer had this privilege that most of my friends only dreamed of having at that age.
This didn´t mean however that I didn´t push my luck… at least where the drinking went, but I stuck to my limits and made sure I sobered up before going home.
I knew not to ask to go out too often or to stay out too late.
Sometimes I´d ask for an extra hour or two and often I got them, I also learnt that if I took a "no" gracefully then my privileges would probably be lengthened a bit the next time around.
One night I went out with a bunch of friends and was meant to be given a lift home afterwards. The vibe in the club was a bit dead and so we decided to go try another place… we didn´t make it out the parking lot.
The driver decided to show off his skills in spinning his car and ended up embarrassing himself by cracking a hole in the radiator as he spun over a curb.
Immediately there was panic!
Everyone was in fear of the consequences that came with their parents knowing what happened.
I knew however that there was no alternative…
I called my dad.
My friends and I worried that my dad would never let me out with them again and he´d probably tell their parents and that I´d probably never be let out at night ever again…
This was the shortening of my leash…
My dad arrived within minutes. He seemed calm as he took a look at my friend´s car but the fact that he didn´t look in my direction told me that he wasn´t all that happy.
I knew my nightlife freedom would be restricted if not cut completely but any other alternative my friends came up with seemed more irresponsible then asking my dad for help.
He called a tow truck, gave my friend a good mechanic's number and took all my friends home one by one without asking to speak with their parents.
As the last of my friends jumped out the car and we were left alone, I waited for the speech and my prison sentence…
What I got wasn´t what I expected!
My dad put his hand on my leg and thanked me for calling him.
My privileges weren´t limited, in fact two weeks later, I got another extra hour on my curfew.
Today I know that the faith deposited in me was due to the fact that I´d never overstepped my boundaries.
If until that point, I hadn´t earned the trust… my dad´s reaction would have certainly been different.
Oddly enough, with time some of my friends got night privileges from their parents on the condition that they were with me.
As a conscious adult in this day and age, there´s very little that I can´t do…
However I also know I must take the responsibility for my decisions and own up to the risks I take…
Not all the gain is worth the consequence…
Not all risks are worth taking…
Because people get hurt.
Because trust is fragile.
Because your leash will be shortened.
Because there are things you can´t undo.
I take special care to know my boundaries and to stay off the edge.
Just because I can, doesn´t mean I should…
It doesn´t mean I will.
If you keep pushing your luck, one day it will run out.