By: Lanisha Porter
…and that is the question in which you live your life taking risks to figure out.
Anyway in which I can influence my turn out, I want to. Therefore, I’ve always calculated my risks. Always. I have what is called a personal RMF—Risk Management Filter—and I use it often. My RMF is the personal system I use to determine what risks I’m willing and am unwilling to take, in order to turn out how I want. Below you will find how I calculate my own risks surrounding love, sex, education, money, and youth.
Not to get too personal in my more private affairs, but I will say I approach dating more carefully. It’s very unlikely that I would connect myself with a man who I deemed to be a “high-risk, low-return” liability. If my calculations showed him putting me at a disadvantage, it’s not likely that I would continue to involve myself for the long run. I look at the characteristics I may inherit from being around that person, who they are connected with, their potential parenting styles, how kind they are, their eating habits, their way of reasoning, their emotional stability, and their talents and skillsets. I consider all these factors because if marriage ever came about…I’m closely exposed to ALL those things. Their issues become my issues. Their successes become my shine. Their past becomes judgements passed my way. And their consequences become my circumstances. And at any point in the dating period if I don’t like what I’m dealing with, I opt out. It’s important to me to choose my life partner carefully because I realize I’m choosing more than just a person. I’m choosing the trajectory of my life. I’m choosing the person I will spend the hardest and worst of days with; the person who becomes a direct reflection of me by law and spirit; I’m choosing my caregiver; my consultant; the person who will subconsciously be influencing and rubbing off on me; the person who I build my life with; and most importantly, I’m choosing the social privilege I may or may not get to have with this person by my side. I wouldn’t bind myself with a man who didn’t carry himself above and beyond with exception. This isn’t only for my own advantage, but the advantage of my future children who I would want to have a phenomenal father and a stellar example of human potential actualized. From the time a guy expresses interest in me and forward—though he does not even know it—he is being passed through my personal RMF. I am weighing how much of a risk and return I am looking at. And the question that I must have a yes to when I ask myself is, “If I were to marry this person would I turn out happy?”
Whenever you have sex with a person, you are gambling with different fates. The two that most commonly pop in my mind are pregnancy and STDs/HIV. I know where I want to go in life and I also have an idea on that schedule, and having sex has the power to open up possibilities I am not yet ready for. Having sex—even after taking preventive measures—could lead to a child. And you must ask yourself, “Do I know this person well enough to mix blood with them? Raise a child together? Allow them access to me for the next 18-years? Am I really ready to be a parent? Do I have access to the resources necessary to give this child a fair shot?” And the truth is, I, myself, have not yet met someone who I could confidently tie my fate to. Therefore, I avoid taking that risk. You could have sex and nothing could happen except pleasure…but you could also have sex and something could happen, and that’s your risk to take.
…is extremely expensive. At times it can seem way too expensive. But I have found that it is a worthy investment. To cover my bill, aside from scholarships and grants, I still had to take out small loans for my undergraduate career. Trying to be fiscally responsible, I—of course—hesitated heavily at the thought of putting myself in debt just to secure an out-of-state education, especially when I had full ride offers in state. But I’ve learned debt is not as much of a dirty word as people make it seem, AS long as the debt can bring a worthy return. When you secure an education, though you may rack up debt, you too are securing opportunities for yourself that you otherwise could not have obtained. Using my RMF, I figured piling on the debt to pay for my education was worth the risk once I considered the high returns like the career placement options, exposure, networking opportunities, social privilege, and chances to immerse myself in a diversified student population. Taking this risk gave me more to gain than to lose.
Much like I said above, I aim to be responsible with my money. I don’t make the investment if I only suspect a low return. There are three things that I am always willing to put myself in debt for and those things are: 1) Education 2) Travel and 3) Career Development. The most basic principle taught in Personal Finance is risk. If one wishes to get the best bang out of their buck, they must be willing to take risks on where they invest their dollars. I remember this deeply when handling where my own dollars go. I’m not the type to blow hundreds on a pair of shoes, but I will easily invest hundreds in a photoshoot to help develop an image for professional purposes. Money should be used to serve you and create freedom for the long run. To see your money multiply you must be willing to take risks and do things you’ve never done to get what you never had.
Having youth is one of those ‘Once in a Lifetime’ experiences. Literally. You only get to be young once in life, and there are many ways to spend that short span of your life. You can utilize that energy of youthfulness to create freedom for the future. Or, you can suspend all that energy of youthfulness to simply live for the moment and undercut creating freedom for the future. I’ve met people who asked the question what is the point of tip-toeing through life only to arrive safely at death? And then there are those who question, why live in the fast lane and increase your chances of suicide? Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Death is the end of all possibilities. Therefore, suicide is equivalent to causing the end to one’s own possibilities. Those who prefer to live life outside of the fast lane are interested in maximizing their possibilities, so they tip-toe safely surveying the best way to lead their lives. Those in the fast lane zoom past, laughing. Who is say which way is right? Both are risks that present different outcomes. I personally, believe that youth should be harnessed to maximize the opportunities for the future. Not to merely be frozen in time through fun memories. But how you spend your youth is your risk to take. However, keep in mind that your youth is one of those things you don’t get a double take on. You can fail at your first attempts in love, sex, education, and money and re-do them with the new information you discovered along the way. But Youth is a one-time thing. You have to really think about how you want to spend it the first time because there is no re-do button.
As I mentioned in the beginning, everything will turn out, but how it does is predicated on the risks you are and aren’t willing to take in this life. No one really has the moral authority to tell you which risks are right and wrong, but when taking risks you must remember how you wish to turn out and let that be your guide. So, in sharing my views on risk-taking with you, I hope you are encouraged to take risks that may lead you to YOUR best turn out!
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Welcome to my views from this horizon!