matt grant

middle-aged librarians don't drown

A friend told me this story recently.

She and her friend were going swimming in the River Thames and a passer-by commented that it looked dangerous.

‘You might drown!’

And her friend replied, ‘Middle-aged librarians don’t drown!’

On the face of it, there’s some truth in her statement - statistically most people who drown tend to be younger men.

But there’s also a more important message.

They weren’t just jumping in the river and seeing what would happen. They knew how cold it was going to be, what the river was like at that point, where they were going to get in, where they were going to get out, how long they could safely stay in there and had other people who knew where they were and how long they were expected to be.

So whilst on the face of it it might seem dangerous, in reality the risk isn’t so high. Not when the proper precautions are taken.

Getting outside of our comfort zone is vitally important for personal growth.

But not to the point of being reckless. We have to evaluate what we’re doing. Are we doing this because it will enable us to grow? Or are we simply being foolish? Are we avoiding something because it is too risky? Or are we just making excuses?

We always have the choice. We just have to use our reason to make the right one.