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People Should Undertake Risky Action Only After They Have Carefully Considered Its Consequences. - With Free Essay Review

“People should undertake risky action only after they have carefully considered its consequences. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.”

It sounds very responsible and mature to argue that people should undertake risky action only after they have carefully considered its consequences, after all, by fully understanding the situation, we are able to get ready for whatever the future may have in store for us. However, I would like to point out that life is not always purely rational, and we all take risks once in a while to feel the thrill of being alive.

Before we dive into it, let me first define what risky action is. Frankly, every action contains a certain percentage of risk that most of the time is ignored by us. Taking a bus, walking down the street, and drinking coffee - things considered most common and trivial - all potentially bear the risk of harming our health or hurting us in various ways. But we do not stop living because of those risks. To avoid confusion, I would like to define risky action as in the case when the possibility of failure or disaster is high enough to not be taken for granted. Such as in the case of deciding to take bungee jumping, choosing a career and dealing with emergencies.

For those highly risky decisions we face, it is sensible to make a cost and benefit analysis, trying to weigh the advantages against disadvantages and thus making the most beneficial decision. However, we do not always have the luxury of time to think all things through. Take social crises such as SARS and earthquakes. Government officials do not sit at the round table and start analyzing figures and data, and build models to see which strategy is the optimum. They react as quickly as they can, mostly relying on the past experience and intuition, because lives need to be saved and time does not allow any moment of hesitation and delay.

Additionally, there are cases in which we do have time and availability of enough information to make a rational choice, but we would rather follow our heart. Try to think what people do when they are getting married. Is it purely rational and calculating? Maybe there are some very realistic considerations involved, but I believe the best strategy here is let yourself be emotional. To feel the love, affection and intimacy--if there are not any, do not get married. Because when it comes to relationships, being accurate and precise and all scientific is not only unhelpful but also may end up hurting yourself and people you love. While it is risky to decide with whom you are spending the rest of your life, people give and forgive, care and share, instead of simply calculating the consequences.

Undoubtedly, making mistakes is unavoidable when time is so limited or our instincts do not lead us to the right path, or the impulse we act on finally makes us suffer. However, it is part of being alive as a mortal and flawed human being, and we are hardwired in this way so that we could feel and thrill. Risking it may not sound like such a bad idea if we stop focusing on one time success and failure and start to appreciate life as it is.


Essay Review

It's probably fine to limit your discussion to actions whose risk is pronounced, but if you are going to brush aside everyday, minimally risky actions from consideration, you may as well establish first your general position in relation to such actions. You imply that your position on the recommendation in the prompt in such everyday cases is that we need not or should not devote serious attention to carefully considering consequences, but should instead just get on with the business of living. Why not make that point explicit before moving on?

Your subsequent arguments are for the most part reasonable. Your first argument, concerning one's approach to high-risk decisions, is in itself convincing enough: there are indeed situations in which we don't have the luxury of time. (The examples you offer of such circumstances, however, are probably not the most compelling, if only because I'm inclined to imagine that government officials really do sit around analyzing figures and data.)

Your second argument is a reasonable defense of the importance of not being reasonable in matters of the heart. It might be helpful to consider possible objections to your position here, since many believe that people ought to enter into marriage with greater caution than they typically do, there being, after all, so very much at stake. (By the way, I changed the word "helpful" to "unhelpful" to make your sentence make sense; please do proofread your essays!) In any case, it is inadvisable to conclude your argument with a factual claim about what people do ("people give and forgive, etc."); instead explain what you think of those actions and the implications they have for your argument that risk-taking is sometimes appropriate.

Finally, you should probably also consider circumstances in which not taking the time to consider consequences might be a bad idea.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: aqua


Thank you very much, EJ, very helpful comments.
August,10 2012

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