Acceptable Risk

I have surpassed my Post A Week promise as this is already my third post this week – yeah!  I’ve checked out the suggestions for post topics and some of them look really interesting but at the moment I’ve got plenty of ideas of my own.  I’ll keep them in mind for when I have a dry spell.

It has been a busy week – my regular 60 hour work week also had an additional 4 evenings of networking meetings etc which left me little time to ‘play’ with my new computer.  I use the term ‘play’ here because it is through play that we learn.  Since my new computer has a new operating system, new versions of several of my old programs and some new programs too there is plenty for me to learn.

When I’m busy I easily get frustrated by power struggles with my computer.  The new operating system has added ‘security’ features to keep me ‘safe’ – or to irritate me. Trying to work through some of these issues also got me thinking how much my computer makes me feel like a child with an overprotective parent.

There I was, 6:30am, already finished preparation for the day’s activities and meals and no children due to arrive for an hour – plenty of time to work on a blog post.  First, I’ve got a picture on the camera that I want to use.  Getting it from the camera to the computer took way longer than expected because of the unexpected hide & seek game we played as I tried to figure out where I should stick that card.

Once the picture was finally moved to the computer I was able to edit, crop and resize the photo fairly quickly because I demonstrated incredible self control to not play with all the cool features that the fancy new photo editing software has.  Then, my computer and I had this ‘conversation’;

  • Me: Save photo.
  • Comp: No, you’re not permitted to.
  • Me: Yes I am, try again.
  • Comp: No, it’s read only
  • Me: No it’s not, I checked
  • Comp: It’s mine and you can’t change it
  • Me: I took the picture — I can change it if I want to.
  • Comp: No, it’s mine
  • Me: Fine, keep that one and ‘save as’ a second one that I can have.
  • Comp: No
  • Me: Look, I’m out of time just forget it! Close program
  • Comp: You have unsaved changes. Would you like to save them?
  • Me: Oh! Yes please.
  • Comp: No, you’re not permitted to.
  • Me: Keep your stupid picture and go away.

OK, it was a temporary setback and we’ve worked it out.  I understand the need for protection – I’ve had my share of ‘OMG I can’t believe I just did that’ moments when I wished I hadn’t been allowed to delete two years worth of important data.  But really?  This was an acceptable risk.  What’s the worst thing that could happen if I modified the picture, saved it, and then changed my mind?

We learn from our mistakes and if we are never allowed to take the risk and make mistakes we won’t learn from them.  Overprotected children can’t learn to recognize the risk – to differentiate between the acceptable risk and real danger.

So I say, let’s play, take risks, make mistakes, try something different and learn.

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