Broken Things

I recently invested in a road bike. I was allured by the fact that it would be cheaper than public transport, faster than walking, and healthier than driving my car. I’m not a super serious cyclist or anything, but the bike was getting me where I needed to go. I was riding on my nice new bike downhill when I ran over some kind of dark object, maybe a piece of scrap metal someone had thrown to the side of the rode. My bicycle started making a strange noise. An unsafe and repetitive kind of ticking, and now my bike is broke.

The wheel alignment is off, which means I need to go in and get it fixed somewhere, which means I need to spend time and money to do that. Why did I waste my money on something that was going to give such bad returns?

I find my thinking on this can often become quite unhealthy. I’ll purchase something slightly expensive, and then I’ll avoid ever using it because I don’t want to risk damaging it. I get so precious about things breaking such that I never want to use them. Maybe I should leave my phone to stop it from shattering, or avoid taking my car to parking lots. In fact, sometimes I start thinking that I should just stay home to avoid all the potentials for things to go wrong.

I have to remind myself that anything we go out and try to do has risks and dangers. If we were so averse to risk, we wouldn’t do anything at all. Things will break even when we do take reasonable precautions, and that’s okay. “You only live once” isn’t generally used as a reminder of how fragile everything is. It’s a call to take risks and try your best.

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