How Much Risk Can You Take on a Bet?

The world is a dangerous place, and life is certainly not guaranteed. However, that does not mean you have to be afraid to live your life, to experience the joys and pains that come with it. There are many risks we take every day that might affect our lives in one way or the other. For example, if you smoke, you might increase your risk of lung cancer. Or if you drink alcohol, you might damage your liver, which could lead to serious health problems. These are all risks we knowingly take. But what about those risks that we do not see coming? What about the risks that are not listed on the packaging? The risks hidden in plain sight?

We could all stand to be a bit more careful. We could all stand to be a bit more wary. We could all stand to live a little bit less adventurously. However, would that mean giving up all the exciting possibilities life has to offer? Would it mean putting a stop to all the new and improved things we can bring into our lives? The world is an uncertain place, and it is up to us to make the most of what we know and what we can control. Life is full of risks, and it is up to us to decide how we are going to live it. Are we going to be cautious and live a safe life, or are we going to take the risks that come our way and make the most of it?

This brings us to the question: how much risk can you take on a bet? More importantly, how much risk can you afford to take on a bet? The way we look at risk in society today is very different from how our ancestors might have viewed it. In the past, people were much more likely to be in denial of risks they considered small or negligible. Take the bubonic plague for example. While the plague might not seem like a very big deal to us today, in the 14th century, it was a very real and present danger. The Black Death (bubonic plague) was responsible for the deaths of one in four Londoners at the time. The disease was rampant, and there was no guarantee the authorities would be able to keep it under control. People were terrified, and many believed the plague was a just punishment from God for sin. The Catholic Church even went as far as to accuse the Jews of poisoning the wells, which they were accused of doing to gain world domination. (This accusation had serious consequences for the Jews of Europe at the time, as many of them were forced to choose between their faith and their lives.)

The point is that people of the time did not consider risks like these to be risks at all. They considered them far smaller risks compared to the risks they took every day. These were risks they were willing to take because they considered them to be of divine will. In the grand scheme of things, they believed the threat of death from the bubonic plague to be a minor one. (Of course, this was not true. The mortality rate was very high, and there was no known cure at the time. Nonetheless, the perception of risk was very different back then.)

We should not be so quick to dismiss the risks hiding in plain sight. We should not be so quick to assume that the threat of death from a common cold is something to be grateful for. It is not. If we want to live happy and healthy lives, we have to be aware of the risks and be willing to address them. There is no point in living in fear, in hiding, or in denial. We have to be aware of the dangers and dangers lurking around us, and we have to be ready to tackle them. Only then can we truly live a life worth living.

The Difference In Perception

What makes the difference between perceived risk and actual risk? How do our brains get it so wrong? It is not that our brains are malfunctioning or that we are stupid. Perception is not always an accurate reflection of reality. What our brains are doing is that they are taking into consideration the information they have available and the past experiences they have collected in order to form an opinion or a perception about something. For instance, if you raise your hand in the air and make a fist, the people around you will instantly assume you are threatening them. This is simply because your hand is a fist, and they have all seen countless similar poses in threatening situations before. Now, when you open your hand and wave it around in the air, the people around you will not necessarily consider you to be a threat because your open palm does not match their image of a clenched fist. (This is the same with the common cold. While it may seem like an extremely minor risk to us today, it was a very real and present danger to our ancestors. Today, we know that there is no such thing as “the common cold” or “catching the flu”. There are many different strains of the flu, and people have a wide variety of reactions to it. However, back then, when there was no treatment and no known cause, it was a very real and present danger. We should not underestimate the risks lurking around us. We should be vigilant, aware, and prepared to face them. There is no point in living in fear or in denial. We have to be honest with ourselves about the risks we are taking and the risks we are willing to take. Only then can we truly live a life worth living.