Part one was important because I want it known that I value the whole but I don’t have it. I can’t truly know what Helen Keller meant when she wrote it. There wouldn’t be a whole book if she didn’t mean to say more so I have no way of knowing if my interpretation is what she meant when she said it. Moving on…
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
It’s easy to forget how hazardous the act of living actually is. Our planet was almost hit by a comet in January (sort of.) Oaky maybe not, but a catastrophic event of that kind could happen and statistically will happen - someday. It’s the “someday” that gets us. Not today. Not right now. When’s the next game? “Someday” lulls us into a false sense of security. It’s the “someday” that lets us think we can live our lives as we see fit without obstacles or consequences and both abound.
Thomas Merton fully believed that the idea of control was an illusion. And I think that is what Helen Keller is talking about too. If I look both ways before crossing the street I can prevent (control) getting into an accident. I had a friend who used the cross walk when it was his turn and he had his leg shattered by a drunk driver. Most people don’t want to think about how little control they have in their daily lives. I can’t control how other people act or when the friggin’ bus will arrive, I am out of control the minute I leave my house.
As I said before, the quote as it stands alone seems fatalistic to me. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die. I don’t know anything about Helen Keller other than she was blind and deaf. I do know that if I was in her position I definitely would not be as upbeat about life as she was. Going on the tiny bit I know about her I would say that she is not a fatalist at all but more of an optimistic realist. It’s good to be reminded that I’m not in control but also to not let that stop me from living life to the fullest. She seems like a “life to the fullest” kind of person. The only thing I can truly control is my attitude about whatever happens to me and around me. Life is daring adventure and it takes guts to do it right.