A cracked iPad screen as a metaphor for risk avoidance

imageBy Paola Bassanese
This morning I dropped my mini iPad and the screen now has a slight crack. I bought a special, very robust cover with padding to protect the iPad.
However, this morning I was reading in bed and my iPad was at my feet ready for when I was finished reading a magazine.
Waking up at 4am meant that I could not get back to sleep so I decided to catch up on some reading. Tiredness and being distracted meant that I inadvertently kicked the iPad and it fell to the floor from a height no bigger than 40 cm. The protective case did not prevent the screen from cracking.
Funnily enough the screen became cracked because the iPad fell face down. You know that feeling where you are carefully, lovingly and generously spreading butter on a piece of toast only to drop it straight after that butter side down?
Well, that’s what happened to me and my iPad. What’s the lesson here? This is a good metaphor for risk avoidance. In the last few years I have been avoiding risk on the basis of being self-employed. As a rule I do not take up any dangerous sport or other activities that would compromise my health and my ability to work.
I have become so good at managing my money that I will not allow myself any irrational spending. I will not go out the evening before a shift at the clinic to avoid being tired for work (I did the same the night before exams. Outcome: First class honours degree and a less than sparkling social life).
This also make me realise that other events in my past where all themed around risk avoidance. I took a driver’s license years ago but I’ve never driven.
I left a small town in Italy to move to London because I felt wrapped in cotton wool by my family and yet years later I am repeating the same pattern of behaviour that my parents had towards me.
I’ve become so good at avoiding risk but dropping my iPad within the confines of my “safe ” home made me feel totally unprepared and useless at avoiding for the inevitable.
The protective cover for the iPad was my safety net and my insurance policy against accidents from happening. And yet the incident happened at home whereas the cover was there to ensure the device was not hit in transit or got scratched in by bag.
What’s the lesson in all of this? The more you avoid risk the more it finds you in unexpected circumstances.
Oh, and having a life beats betting good marks at school.