W11, #3: MEANING OF LIFE QUESTION #1

Who: All periods

Set-up: Now that we’ve left the ‘island’ and will soon be entering Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s lab, more and more of our class discussions will begin to explore a) how human nature functions and b) larger philosophical ideas floating around the universe that authors typically tackle.

Thanks to students in periods 1, 2 & 3 who have been working on the “Road Trip – Meaning of Life” creative story (inspired by “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer), we will explore a series of philosophical questions this week.

Challenge: Answer the following question:

Is there more to life than ‘staying safe’ or ‘avoiding mistakes’?

Length: 7+ sentences.

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38 responses to “W11, #3: MEANING OF LIFE QUESTION #1

  1. What would life be without risk? Life would be empty, it would even be pointless. No matter how much we all hate change, without it, there would be nothing. Nothing to get you out of bed in the morning, nothing to excite you. If you never took a chance or a risk, every day would be the exact same than the day before. Failing miserably is better than not doing anything at all, because if you fail, you learn how you can succeed the next time. However, if you never tried hard enough to fail of succeed, your life will be the same and it will be boring. A life spent avoiding opportunities and taking no risks is not a life well spent. There is no joy in doing the same exact thing day, after day, after day. Your life would never improve or get worse, it would just stay the same. Without the possibility of improvement, there is no point in life, therefore, there is more to life that just ‘staying safe’.

  2. This question is pointing something about trying something. Not trying anything is not a good idea. You should try anything you want(unless it is a bad thing) and if you make a mistake doing it, its okay. You learn never to do it again. The oppurtunity you take to try something(unless it becomes a personal favorite) is a once in a lifetime experience. There is no life without trying something. It is like watching Batman. If you never liked Batman and never went to watch it, you are missing out on a lot. You also learn from your mistakes. If you don’t have the gut to answer the last question that you know how to do, but don’t want to get it wrong, you will never know why you got it wrong even though you know you did it the right way. Everyone learns from their mistakes, learning not to do it again nad next time to do the right thing.

  3. Yes! I believe that you can not and will not go anywhere in life without stepping out on a ledge so to speak. Without being daring, one will miss opportunities and life will pass you by. This said I find my self wanting to ‘play it safe’ sometimes. It is hard to always be accepting of mistakes made from taking a risk. Humans in general don’t want to make mistakes. They want to live their entire lives perfect. This obviously can and will never work. Though, we probably never will, humans should embrace mistakes and know that they are inevitable and actually beneficial when we learn from them. Since mistakes usually occur when one steps out of their ‘comfort zone’ and risks something, we learn that this can be a healthy practice. I can not imagine a world where everyone simply does not take any risks nor performs anything out of the ordinary as to make a mistake, that world would be the only risk of mistake that man should ever fear.

  4. Yes I think there is more to life than just ‘staying safe’ or ‘avoiding mistakes’. If you live your life just staying safe, and being almost perfect then really you basically have a dull life to my opinion. People should be daring, brave, and try different things than just playing it safe. I think when people do things that they would normally not do, they accomplish a lot more. It makes them better people, and it gives them that confidence that says they can overcome anything in life. You know the Egyptians had a belief that when you enter heaven you were asked two questions:

    1) Have you found joy in your life?
    2) Have you bought joy to others?

    I like these questions, and its what makes me want to live more of my life for I want to find the joy in my life. I believe people should find the joy in their life, and live it, not live dull and uninteresting lives. Well I still have a long way to go, but soon I will find the joy in my life.

    Oh and BTW got that Egyptian saying from the movie “The Bucket List.”

  5. Yes there is more to life than staying safe and making mistakes. The mistakes help teach lessons so we grow as people. If no one ever made any mistakes there would be nothing to learn and life would be dull. We need trails to experiment with things and figure out if something is wrong or right. If you are always going to play it safe your life must be pretty boring. Taking risks makes life way more interesting. If a person is always just going to be a homebody they won’t ever know how to have fun or to interact with people. Yes it’s good to play it safe in certain situations but something’s are meant to be challenged. Like a kid sneaking out of the house at night, they are experimenting to see weather its right or wrong. They will most likely have fun in the process but when they get in trouble later they will figure out that it is wrong and they made a mistake. Now they have learned from their mistake and will know to not do it again. Being spontaneous and making mistakes makes life more interesting and without taking risks life would be incredibly boring!

  6. It depends on who you are. In my opinion there are two kinds of people: those who want to “be,” and those who want to “do.” Be-ers desire just to blend in (to be considered “normal”) and to be content/comfortable. Do-ers want to stand out and accomplish. I’m a do-er, and for me life would be miserable just ‘staying safe and avoiding mistakes.’ If I was a be-er, I would never try new things or voice my opinions. I never would have gone whitewater rafting or high tree climbing. Everything would happen exactly as I expect it, and where’s the fun in that? Do-ers want to thrive and learn, and they can’t do that without taking risks and making mistakes. Yes, my raft team was almost killed on one of the fiercer rapids, and yes, I have fallen out of trees…but I cannot even dream of parting with those experiences. They were times in which I’ve felt the sheerest exhileration and laughed the truest laughter. They’ve shaped who I am.

  7. There are two schools of thought on that topic. By playing it safe, you may not reach the thrilling heights of a risky life, but you also would never have to experience the crippling lows. If you play it safe, then you can look forward to a smooth, calm life. Some people are perfectly happy with this, and that is something I can respect. However, I believe most people would say, “Where’s the fun in that?” and I would have to agree. To be able to feel the ups and downs of life is what makes us human, and to deny that would be to deny our essence as people. I think the main reason one might choose the safe route as opposed to the risky one would have to be fear. But only by embracing fear can one avoid being controlled by it; we must never be controlled by our emotions. I believe in order to live life to its potential, you must have a healthy attachment to the question, “Why not?”.

  8. Of Course. That is the whole point of life. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t want to make mistakes, but I’m fine with taking risks. Life is always about trying new things. When you get into a comfortable spot you’ll want some variety sooner or later. People get tired of the same old, same old. They something different every once in a while. However, there are some people who prefer stability and don’t want any risks at all. I can understand that and if that is truely what they want then that is their choice and their life. As for me I don’t understand the point of that. You’re all going to die any way and who knows if their is an afterlife, so you might as well live your life to the fullest.

  9. Of course there’s more to life than just staying safe and avoiding mistakes. Although it feels comfortable to just stay on the safe side, there are many aspects of life that has potential risks. For example, asking someone out is a very hard thing to do. The feeling of rejection hurts us all. That’s why it is hard to find the courage to do it. But what if that person accepts? That is the big question. Staying safe by not asking will completely wipe out the possibility of hearing a ‘yes’. Plus, avoiding mistakes won’t be helpful at all. Nothing is learned from not knowing how something is going to turn out. This way, the next time the same event happens, the solution would be completely unknown.

    This question has a tie to the bystander problem that society faces. If someone is in danger, avoiding the scene would have no risks at all. But think about that person in danger? How would you feel if you were in danger and everyone else around you just walks away? Therefore, there is a lot more to life than staying safe and avoiding mistakes. Things would never be learned and unforgettable experiences that make life interesting would never happen at all.

  10. It is impossible to be able to go through life without having to suffer one bad situation or one problem. Sure everybody is going to try and avoid those instances, but they’re going to happen sooner or later. “Staying safe” is a good in a sense that it’ll protect you from anything harmful or from running into bad situations. But staying safe isn’t the best choice. By not willing to take risks or try anything different, you exclude yourself from being able to experience anything new. Even if those new things that you run into turn out to be bad you’ll gain more wisdom and will become more and more experienced with handling new things. By “staying safe” you will only prevent the learning of new things, expanding your mind, and will never be able to fully appreciate life in its entirety

  11. There is much more to life than staying safe and avoiding mistakes. There are many things in life that you can live for and enjoy. Even though there are many dangers in life, you can’t spend your time trying to avoid it because there going to happen regardless. You are going to make mistakes in life so you can’t let them get you down. When you avoid mistakes, you don’t learn anything. You can’t be afraid of risk. Even though some risk taking is a little unsafe, it’s ok to do it. When you stay on the safe side of everything, then you’re not enjoying yourself. Having fun is apart of living a good life.

  12. More to life than playing it safe or avoiding mistakes?

    Yes.
    We all make mistakes, and a lot of times, the mistake is playing it safe, just waiting for someone else to take a stand, and possibly receive consequences.

    If absolutely everyone avoided mistakes, we would not do anything. Everything we do has a potential for mistake. The best ‘live-r’, is not one who sits in a hospital room perfectly healthy and lives till 100, but someone who dares to learn from their mistakes, and allows each risk to enhance their life, and help the growth of others. They will die with no regrets.

    Not saying we should live on impulse, though.

    ————-

    If we were supposed to play it safe and live life with perfection, we would have had the environment to do so. We wouldn’t have had choices to choose from, so we would have to play it safe.
    There are so many choices in life; wouldn’t you want to be remembered by the influences you started and the changes you made not by how safe and how ‘good’ you were?

  13. There is always more to life than staying safe or making mistakes. If a person were to not take any chances in their life, they would lead an uneventful, boring, and lonely life. Sure there is some danger involved in taking chances, but then again, what is life without a few risks. As for making mistakes, you could never learn if you never made mistakes. Mistakes are there for us to show us what we did wrong so we can be sure not to make them again. Without risks or mistakes, we would all be better of dead. Because without risks or mistakes, life would have nothing to offer us.

  14. Yes I’d go back in time. I’ve always thought it’d be pretty cool to go back in time. I’d be worried about the consequences though. I’d try to stay safe as much as I could. I don’t want to make any mistakes or anything……. But the thing that really got my attention about this entry is how quick my classmates are to throw around labels. I’m not here to judge. They shouldn’t be either While they’re all out being “Do-ers” I guess they didn’t think about the feelings of all us “Be-ers”. I guess all our lives are pointless cause we don’t take as many risks as my cool classmates. I hope they enjoy all their “risks”. This really makes me mad. I really can’t believe that pretty much every previous blogger has called my life pointless. I presume they know more about it than me so i guess they’re right. hmph “Do-ers”……

  15. No body is lucky that can escape the mistake all the time. The life will be boring without the mistakes. You need the mistakes to improve yourself, no mistakes you cant moving forward, just stay at the start line. It’s no challenge without the mistakes, its no punishment. The mistakes make me excited and worried, those feelings are important in your life, I always so afraid that what punishment will came to me, but those sermon can help me learn and improve myself don’t make the same mistakes, it is easy to learn than any things.

  16. People will always make mistake, because people always try to get everything perfect. The mistake is not only a mistake; it is also a lesson for us. Successful person is not sitting at home and until they die, they will like to try anything in their life. The mistake will not be a resistance for them; it is a power which can help them success. If everyone tries to avoid mistake, human will not live in the earth right now. Thing will never change in their entire life. They will all be a banal person. When you try a new thing , don’t be boggle. It is okay when you make a mistake. The point is what you learn from the mistake and never do that again.

  17. Student #14 (follow-up)

    wait……. I think I did the wrong answer to the wrong question

  18. Of course there is more to life than playing it safe. Life would be rather dull without risk and opportunity. Indeed, it is wise to say that staying safe is essential to one’s health, protection, and happiness; but risks come with opportunities too. Mistakes also come with great opportunity: one can learn from their mistakes. Hence one cannot always strive to lead an error-free life. Life would have less meaning if there were not any risks. It is not to say that one should live a life of danger, for danger and one’s wellness seldom go hand in hand, but rather, one should occasionally take risks.

  19. Life only progresses because you take chances. Those chances make change… and that change makes life happen. Without risks, how can you possibly determine what life offers? Risks allow you to explore past your safe zone and experience things you’ve never experienced before. Sure, a risk may involve you losing something, but life isn’t all about gaining. If that risk is a mistake, you can learn from it and gain experience. By just staying safe, you aren’t gaining experience or learning from the past. You can’t gain or give advice because you’ve never made a mistake and learned from it. If this world was full of people who didn’t take risks and avoided mistakes, where would all our information come from? Advice wouldn’t be given, because no one would be there to give it, and advice wouldn’t be gained, because everyone would ‘play it safe’ and wouldn’t learn from their past mistakes.

    For some reason, a story popped into my head as I was typing this. A long time ago in third grade my science teacher, Mr. Gill, told us a story about how Albert Einstein (I think it was Einstein, but I know it was a famous scientist) destroyed his entire laboratory because he combined the wrong chemicals. His associates were all furious with him, but he passed it off and said that “it was a mistake that he would learn from and tell other scientists to avoid.”

    Without risks, people can’t possibly warn others what NOT to do. Obviously, someone in the past took a risk, found that the decision made was a mistake, and warned others about it. Successful people are those who were influenced by others who took risks and also took the risks themselves — how can you possibly know if something can help you if you don’t try it? And, if that choice is a mistake, learn from it so that you and the rest of society won’t do it again.

  20. Yes, there is so much more to life than staying safe and avoiding mistakes. I think that life would be pointless without the fear and risk. If you avoid mistakes then you will never learn. Mistakes are the pathway to learning. There would be no excitement without risks and mistakes, because the joy and happiness of finally overcoming those mistakes is worth going through it. It is like doing a back flip. It is scary and frustrating when you can’t do it, but when you finally make it the feeling is so great. Suddenly, everything you had to do to be able to stick it was worth it. Also, without mistakes first, there is nothing to look foward to. If you hide from mistakes then life will be boring and pretty much the same every day. You would never be able to try anything new because the’re risks in almost everything.

  21. Yes there is more to life than avoiding mistakes. Part of life is making those mistakes. If you spend your entire life trying not to mess up, you will still probably mess up anyway. So why not have fun and mess up sometimes. Life is messy, complicated, and beautiful. It is whatever you make of it. So if you go around and sweat the small stuff, you won’t have a fulfilling experience. But if you live life to the fullest, you will be glad you did.

  22. Mistakes are a part of life, everyone makes them. But, it’s the people who are willing to learn from their mistakes and not dwell on them that truly live the best lives. Of course it is very hard to admit to yourself that you were wrong, but to learn from mistakes shows true character. People who live their lives to the fullest are those who do not dwell on mistakes, but fix them. It is truly admirable when people follow their dreams and ‘go for the gold’. No one is perfect, that is understoood. But making mistakes should not keep people from getting back in the game and trying again. Everyone strives for perfection. It’s those who never give up who are the people that enjoy every second of their lives and are truly admired.

  23. I definitely think that there is a lot more to life then avoiding mistakes. I believe that making mistakes is how you learn and though you shouldn’t purposely make mistakes those that are made can only make you a better person. I remember the mistakes I have made more then the successes in my life because those are the moments that have shaped my character. I am all for staying safe and only taking on what you can handle to a point but if you never take a risk then you will never enjoy the greatest rewards in life. I think that if you go through your life confidently and make your decisions using your best judgment then you can’t go wrong. All an individual can do is use their best judgment and if that leads to a mistake then they can learn from that and move on. Though I don’t always take my own advice, worrying over mistakes does not change what you have done and the best thing that can be done is to learn from your flawed decisions and improve yourself. Playing safe is always acceptable in certain situations but in reference to your life you have to be able to balance when you need to go for it and when you should hold back. Our society is very quick to point out when others have made mistakes and so they are always seen as negative occurrences but without them individuals wouldn’t be able to grow and learn. The more mistakes made the more someone learns, and that can only improve the individual and improve our society. This policy applies to the individual but as whole society I definitely think playing it safe is a better idea. In our government taking chances and making mistakes is much less acceptable because they have the fate of a whole nation in their hands. Overall however mistakes are needed within our society so that we can continuously improve and grow.

  24. Of course there is more to life than staying safe and avoiding mistakes. If you never make mistakes, you will never learn, you will just keep on being ignorant. The quote “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” by Albert Einstein sums up the answer to this question perfectly. Mistakes help you learn, and if you never make them, you will never learn. Trying to not make a mistake is like trying to be stupid and why would you do that? Playing it safe is like being locked up like bubble boy. He was really unhappy until finally he took the risk of getting out of his bubble which was the best thing he could have done for himself. If you always try to play it safe and never try new things, you will live thesame old day over and over again until you slowly turn insane. Insanity is never having new expeirnces and never living in the moment. If for once, you don’t try to get everything perfect, then you will learn how much is out there in the world to do.

  25. One can go through life without risk, but one can never live without it. If a person never risks anything then they will be average, not ‘excellent’. Because I strive to be the Ultimate Nerd, I will now reference our Skype chat conversation with Matt Langdon. Matt said that a person can never be a hero unless they take a risk for what they believe in. So then, can a person ever be truly GREAT without taking chances and seeing where the dice fall? Can a person ever wring the cloth of life dry unless they dare to dream? The slight difference between the great and the mediocre is who is willing to throw the Hail Mary pass. Without the mistakes that risk invariably brings, we can never learn; we will never mature as humans, friends, and relatives.

  26. I believe to some extent we have to take risk to get to where we want to go, but I also believe that if you want to experience all the things life has to offer you, you have to be here to experience them. If you don’t take a chance or risk something you will never know what you have missed out on. A mistake is just a stop in your path to where ever you are going. A mistake leads you to the person you want to become. Every mistake someone makes is allowing them to experience things, and grow from that. If you always sit back and watch others have fun, you will never be able to learn those lessons.

    I also believe that you cant risk everything. If you make a really big mistake you might lose your life, and then what would you have to experience? You have to be balanced, you cant go crazy with everything you do but having boundaries is never bad.

  27. Is there more to life than ’staying safe’ or ‘avoiding mistakes’

    What is life consist of? Life is a ongoing film that has many scenes and characters. To a director a film really is never fully complete, the film of life is never complete. Once you finish one scene you go back and watch you daily. Everyday we make a mistake of some kind then the better of us go home and think of the whole day, our mistakes then stick out.

    Life without problem would be the perfect life, the perfect life doesn’t exist.

  28. Life would be nothing without risk. Everything you do is a risk. When you walk outside you take the risk of getting hit by a comet or getting to your car. If there was no risk there would be no succeeding in doing things. If you are diving to save a ball you take a risk of getting hurt when you hit the ground. But you also get a chance to make an awesome save and play a huge role in the game. You take a risk when writing a word in an essay it means the wrong thing and you get counted off for it. The world would be dull and the same if it wasn’t for risk.

  29. The only way to avoid making mistakes is to not try anything new. If you never try anything foreign to you, you never gain any experience, which helps prevent later mistakes. You have to make mistakes to learn from them. If you ‘stay safe’ and ‘avoid mistakes’ you never do anything different, life becomes mundane. While life is ‘safe,’ it is incredibly dull. There is fun in being a little bit dangerous. It is better to live a full life with mistakes than to drift through life without any.

  30. Yes. If you stay safe you will get nowhere in life. Life is about taking risks, both small and large. To go any where in life you have to step out of your safety zone. Reaching out to people and applying for schools and jobs all step out of that zone because there is a possibility of rejection, of failure, which isn’t ‘safe.’ You have to take those risks. When you fall in love with someone you aren’t ‘staying safe’ because you put your heart on the line, you put in the danger of being broken. Just walking out the door isn’t ‘staying safe’ because you could die that day. Going to sleep isn’t staying safe because you could possibly not wake up. Could we get through life with out taking these risks? No, and that’s why life is nothing when you ‘stay safe.’ When you try to avoid making mistakes you can’t learn. Making mistakes is necessary when searing for success, because when you make a mistake you just learn another way to not do it. In life you need to step out of that safe zone and you need to make mistakes because with out doing so, you’re not truly living.

  31. Technically yes there is more to life, but we live by these ideas. These two things completley control us. We all hold back and stay on the safe side to make sure we don’t get hurt. We all strive for excellence to avoid mistakes. There is way more to life, but it seems like these two ideas just control us everyday. They have so much control over us that most of us don’t even double think putting on our seat belt or studying for a test. These two concepts keep us humans in a straight line. Beyond these ideas is what you actually call life. By making mistakes you learn. By not always staying safe, you live on the edge. There are two ways to live life, you can stay inside the lines, or go explore what’s out there and take some risks. Mistakes are good, are staying safe just keeps you boring. I don’t mean riding a bike with a helmet safe, I mean that in terms of getting out of your safety zone and trying things you never have. So if that’s going to a concert, or speaking in front of a class, it makes you an ambitious person. Being ambitious and accepting mistakes will make you stronger and more diverse in the end.

  32. Yes I believe there is a lot more than staying safe and avoiding mistakes. I think this because if you are so worried about these small insignificant things your life will pass you by and you won’t have known what happened. The small things are usually what make life interesting, like awkward moments, I’ve come to love them because they are just so out of the ordinary and gets everyone out of their comfort zone. Usually you get two choices during these moments, those choices being either take a stab at someone potentially hurting them more than any other time or helping blow the whole thing off by changing the subject. There is also a third choice which I find is rather fun to dabble in every once and a while, and that is to make the conversation even more awkward. This is fun because awkwardness is like a big pile that comes crashing down into laughter once it has been broken. So if you add more to the pile it becomes even more hilarious, but you have to be careful because there is a line you have to make sure not to cross otherwise it isn’t really as funny as it is just weird.

  33. Life is whatever you make of it. Some people like some kind of excitement in their life. It all depends on your boundaries of being safe and whatever you call a mistake.

    Everyone makes mistakes, their is no way you can’t make one because then you’re pretty much perfect. Anyway any move you make someone will think it’s a mistake if you don’t.

    There is always more to life then just being safe and being mistake free, because then your life is a hollow boring shell. Pretty much meaningless like a robot.

  34. Many of lifes greatest moments are done by taking some sort of risk. There is no excitment without taking risks. If you live life avoiding every possible danger, you aren’t living life at all, so what’s the point of staying safe? What is the point of even having a life if you refuse to live it? If you take a risk and encounter danger, that’s all the more reason to keep living. That way you can live on to stare danger in the face again. Avoinding all risks is worse than the ‘worst-case scenario’ of taking the risk, so I think avoiding them altogether is pretty counter-productive.

  35. Yes. In life you do want to stay safe and you do want to do your best to avoid making mistakes, but if life was perfect why would it be fun to live. Everything would be boring. You would never expect anything shocking to happen because you know that nothing you dont want to happen wont happen. You shouldnt want to be one of those people who go through life scared. They are always worrying if something bad is about to happen, or if they are about to do something bad. Try to avoid the paths that will lead you to mistakes but in life live it to the fullest. Show people what life is all about and have fun. Life isnt meant to scare you and make you sad, its meant to teach you lessons you will never forget.

  36. Risk taking is what defines humanity as a higher existence. An animal stays completely safe, never takes risks. An herbivore will flee at the slightest sign of danger rather than stay and fight. A predator will take on the weakest of the herd, target the helpless and invalid while avoiding the more dangerous specimens. Life is all about taking risks. Trying new things, failing, moving on. picking a school, moving out, starting a career, getting married; all are risks that make life worth living. Life is composed of the risks we take and the consequences they incur.

  37. Every person makes mistakes in their life. There is never that “perfect person”, we all mistakes and some point its just natural and we just need to learn how to correct them and learn from it. There are many people out there who base there everyday lives on making risks. As a child growing up I learned what was right and wrong and as I got older I had to take risks and sacrifice many thing in order to get the results I wanted. Risk taking can result as a mistake, but its ok, as long as you learn from it. People should enjoy and live life the way it is. Everyone at some point get focused on their task so much they forget about the others. This could get the job done but you are still affecting the people around you by taking this risk. Instead try your best and the support of your friends and family have your back.

  38. There is much more to life than staying safe and avoiding risk. If we do these things we add very little substance to our lives. Constantly avoiding risk allows for safety and consistency in life, but by doing so one would never reap the benefits that risky situations have to offer. We would never know the satisfaction of a big risk reward. We would not know the negative consequences either, but a life without any kind of heartbreak or failure of some sort isn’t really a life at all. It is very difficult for someone to make any kind of advance in life if no risks are taken, whether it be in a job situation, sports, school, anything.

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