Qualification: I do not speak here about politics, laws, or morality. I only want to understand where I am, what the situation is, and what the options are. Then, I can bring to bear more explicitly the nuances of values and norms. Impossible? Well, maybe impossible to perfect but not impossible to approximate. I take my inspiration from Buddha whose Middle Way begins from “Right view”. Clarity of sight has long been held up as something worth achieving.
I am faced with choice at each moment. This is the power of self direction.
Choice may be divided categorically and with mutual exclusivity into action and abstention, commission and omission, choosing to choose and choosing to not choose.
Regardless of which there is risk. The risk is a product of the darkness of the future and ignorance about what it holds. Choices can be divided between ends and means. Quickly put, the ends are the longterm goals, and they are risks in mis-aiming. The means are the steps, ways, strategies employed to reach the ends. Their are risks in mis-allocating resources and setting up strategy that does not work.
There is risk in choosing to act and choosing to abstain. The risk is unavoidable.
Risk is best understood as not getting what is wanted. But what is wanted? The satisfaction of want has two parts: demand (want) and supply (that which satisfies want). One of the sage Jesus’ most memorable and misunderstood phrases is “Ask and you shall receive” which is a veiled way of saying ultimately people always get what they want which means, to my little puny mind, what the agent is always faced with is and outward expression of his internal aim and strategy (choice).
Here I am. What do I think of what I have chosen? How will I continue to choose?
Anxiety is natural and to be expected to some degree. Hiding from anxiety? This has consequences. The medicalization of that which is natural? This has consequences.
Intention is not enough. The road to hell… There is no avoiding risk by being “compassionate” or “wanting everyone to be happy or secure or contentful” or being “for justice” or “for equality”.
We are all gamblers to some degree. Even the one who hides is a gambler. Some gamblers lose by vice and some by bad luck. The same is true for winners. But he who tries to manage this whole game. He who tries to grasp good and bad luck and control it so that all is as he demands, maybe the consequences of his actions are the most disastrous. Ask and you shall receive.
Choice is everywhere. Risk is everywhere. Consequences of choice are everywhere. Supply and demand are everywhere.