Had a good test of slow thinking (rationale thoughtful) brain vs fast thinking (emotional flight fight) brain this week.
S had to under go sedation to fix a tooth hole. His sensory sensitivity from his autistic traits made a traditional operation impossible though he tried very hard.
"Don't worry. I'm a resuscitation specialist!"
Strangely that's not the thought you want running through your mind.
I see a lot of the world through the lens of healthcare. Nothing is risk free.
Aspirin takes away headache pain with a chance of a stomach bleed.
Car helps you travel with a risk of a crash.
Living and loving makes you feel like nothing else does but with the inevitable pain of a loved one's death (which also makes you feel like nothing else).
A hole in a tooth would inevitably lead to infection and then quite possibly lead to severe illness or blood poisoning and death.
Sedation medication has a tiny chance of severe allergic shock or overdose that the need for a resuscitation specialist is so small as to be almost meaningless to calculate.
That's not what hits your brain first though when you think your child might die.
Our sense of risk if often inaccurate. It is tied up in our emotions. It is tied up in stories. It is tied up in the narratives we hear.
Even the language of risk we hear differently. We hear two out of three as a different risk to 66.6%.
We fear our children kidnapped on the streets. The stories we hear amplify that fear. And so today we believe our streets are less safe than before and our children lose the benefit of play and making decisions for themselves; and perhaps living free too. The loss is real. The risk fears are close to fantasy.
Yes. There are child gangs. But fewer than 100 years ago.
Yes. There are child groomers. But men and girls can still dance.
Yes. We still die. But life expectancy is at an all time high
... if we can but grab on to life and not fear.
Another personal piece in my thanks to Gideon. If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try: Ursula K Le Guin on literature as an operating manual for life; Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; or JK Rowling on the benefits of failure. Or Charlie Munger on always inverting.