Overall, when you get up in the morning and look out the window not much has changed overnight. That’s what you expect to happen because that’s been your experience every time that you’ve looked out your window in the morning. Day after day, month after month and year after year, not much changes.

 

From our human point of view, a couple of months or a couple of years is a long time. However, on geological and cosmological time scales, the time scales the planet and the cosmos that contains it operate, months and years are less than seconds. So, while in the short term, the view out your window is stable, in the long term it is anything but.

At this point, you may be asking “What in the heck does any of this have to do with why we take risks?” Well, think of it this way. The space containing the view out your window was once under the ocean, in the heart of a mountain, covered with molten lava and filled with cosmic dust.

The point is that things change. They change all the time and a lot of those changes are not beneficial to human life.

These are the conditions existed while humans developed and they continue to exist today. Things are great and stable until they are not so great and unstable. The vast majority of the time, the view out the window is fine.

Sometimes, the view isn’t and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop that change or even accurately predict when it will occur. In other words, sooner or later the fate, chance or the great wheel will give you a solid kick in the pants. You don’t know when it’s coming, you just know that its arrival is guaranteed.

So, how do each of us continue to operate under a veritable Sword of Damocles? Well, because there is no way to predict when the kick is going to arrive, we all just carry on as if it were never going to arrive. The alternative would be to give up the enjoyment that is inherent in day to day life.

We accept the inevitable but act as if it was anything but inevitable in order to reap the rewards of accepting that risk. We really have no other viable choice.

In short, we take risks because ‘hazard’ is a part of the natural order of things.