It always seems a relatively new development when people try to reduce risk – but clearly it isn’t at all new. Armour was developed to reduce death in war, farming to reduce the risk of starvation by hunter gatherer tribes and so on.
One question though is why do people take risk at all? The reason is that there is a perceived benefit – it is worth it. Andrew White though, takes this to extremes. Mostly, this is because the dangers are extreme, but also because the benefit isn’t his, it is for others. Andrew White is the Vicar of Baghdad, and his story is told here in the Huffington Post.
This is an amazing man. This is a man that is doing what he believes regardless of the danger. He believes in the benefit of what he is doing for other people. He belives in it so strongly that he is prepared to take personal danger to acheive this benefit. How many of us would take that path?
The truth is that most of us do. We cross roads. Go to new places. We do dangerous things. We do these things to enjoy ourselves, earn a living or just have a holiday. For us, the benefits are usually tangible or, at least, immediate. Sometimes we hear about people whose risk / benefit balance has not paid off. The family on sailing who are boarded by pirates. The family whose child flls into an animal enclosure at the zoo. The reasons are often less lofty than those of Andrew White, but for us they are the balance of risk against benefit.
It is a lesson in belief though – he believes that his risk could pay off and benefit millions. With that level of devotion, why do we moan about a simple risk assessment?