How I make a Difference – Reduce the Risk for Others

I remember as a young boy, being fascinated by the world of photography. I had a Brownie camera. There was black and white film that I had to take to the drugstore, to then wait a week or so for it to be returned – with black and white prints plus the original negatives. Now try explaining that to your kids and grandkids!

Colour film or better yet, colour slides were starting to be available. They were more expensive but oh, the colour. I could afford it if I was careful and didn’t take too many pictures. Each shot had to be the one I wanted, and I wouldn’t know what my shot really looked like for a couple of weeks.

An adult friend of the family solved my problem. He lowered the risk by handing me a roll of colour film for my Brownie. I was in heaven. The bonus was the developing fee was already included in the price of the film.

I carefully framed each picture and thought about every shot of the roll of 12 shots that I took. I stretched the adventure over a few weeks.

I can’t remember what I took or how anything turned out. I remember the opportunity I had to take coloured pictures.

That act of kindness stuck with me all my life. In its simplest form, I could reduce the risk of change for others so they could try something different. In my younger days, I reduced risk by reducing or eliminating the financial cost. The amounts were never significant. Still, the difference I made was just enough for the other person to try something new. As I matured, a state I never seem to reach, I found ways to reduce risk by lowering that first step. It was a mental thing. By breaking the change into smaller steps, the other person felt the risk to be low enough to give it a try.

For older adults and seniors, we may have some financial resources to lower risk. But one thing we surely have is life experience. As the ad says – “priceless.”

Just take a moment and think about someone in your life; a family member, a friend or acquaintance. Is there one person who has mentioned the desire to try something new but couldn’t take the leap? It can be simple. Maybe a young person wants greater independence to get around but can’t afford a car. Offer to buy them a Public Transit Pass. Offer to go with them on an Adventure Day. They may accept it. Maybe not. They may have never been on a bus and had heard stories about how bad it could be. Throw in a free lunch.

Life doesn’t come with guarantees except for death and taxes. But you gave a realistic chance – a helping hand. You did your part to make your world better.

Cryptic Featured Image: The two coloured slides represent what started my idea many years ago. The ubiquitous cell phone represents the ubiquitous Brownie camera.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley