Saturday, 22 March 2014
I have no qualms about flying, even right across the world. I know there's always a risk of crashes, of fires, of hijacks. But statistically it's the safest form of travel and I have every confidence my next flight will be disaster-free.
I'm okay with driving too. I know that's a very dangerous form of travel, and that serious, possibly fatal, accidents occur all the time. But I'm confident that as long as I'm always alert and attentive, catastrophe is unlikely.
On the other hand, I'm very nervous about hospitals and operations. I'm aware that most operations are routine and successful, but I'm rather too aware of the small percentage that go horribly wrong and leave you in a worse state than before - or even dead. I mean, just suppose I'm one of that small percentage?
I'm also wary of financial risk. I keep my money in the bank and that's it. I'm suspicious of investments and fancy money-making schemes that may go suddenly pear-shaped, swallow up all my money and leave me penniless.
I can be very timid about making big changes in my life, be it a new job, a new home, even a new political allegiance. It might seem like a positive move, it might enhance my life, but what are the unforeseen consequences? Could I be making a reckless mistake, one I live to regret?
Oddly enough though, I was quite sure that moving from London to Belfast was the right thing to do, even though I had no job to go to, I had no relatives living there, and the peace process was only in its early stages. I somehow had confidence it would all work out, and it did.
Why am I quite nonchalant about some risks and over-anxious about others? Why am I so inconsistent? The vagaries of the human mind are a constant puzzle.