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The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing

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To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose your feelings is to risk
exposing your true self
To place your ideal, your dreams before a crowd
is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return

To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure

Yet risks must be taken
Because the greatest hazard in life is risking

The person who risks nothing
Does nothing
Has nothing
Is nothing

Self-realization is harder than
Self Sacrifice

UPDATE1:  Shazoor Mirza (contactable via the comments) kindly told me this poem was written by William Arthur Ward.  Thank you, Shazoor!

UPDATE2:  Is it our risk that matters?  Or can we learn from Anais Nin and the willingness to risk listening to others and hearing their story?



  1. Shazoor Mirza Shazoor Mirza

    Well said. Great !

    I don’t know how many risks I take?

  2. Joe Lawler Joe Lawler

    actually Janet rand copyrighted the poem. not ward and actually it was written by me in the early 1980’s. I gave it away to many people and they in turn to others until it was found around the globe. It was found during the first gulf war in the back seat of a car in which 2 cnn personel were ambushed. By the way, Janet Rand lived in the same area of Chicago suburbs as I did. However, I can never prove I wrote it except for the original on my wall. Joe Lawler

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