Taking risks is not what everyone can do easily because it is risky

Taking risks is not what everyone can do easily because it is risky, of course. However, people take risks because they gain something out of it. The two passages, Lien Chao’s “Neighbours” and Jim McCormick’s “Breaking Through Uncertainty—Welcoming Adversity”, demonstrate how there can be benefit achieved from taking risks. Both passages equally show how the main character from each story obtains benefit out of their risk-taking behaviours.
In Lien Chao’s “Neighbours,” the main character Sally takes a risk to find good friends in this new country she has immigrated. To Sally, Joe and Elizabeth are complete strangers, but they are friendly towards Sally. Even though they are friendly, it is a risk for Sally to trust them and join them. However, because she “hopes one day she will be” Canadian and “Because she has begun to like this country and its people”, Sally decides to take the risk and go for it. The result is phenomenal. Joe and Elizabeth became good friends with Sally and “give her hugs and kisses.” Unlike in the beginning of the story where she felt like a foreigner, after getting used to this new community she has landed, she feels connected and “smiles broadly at her neighbours” as she walks home. All of this welcoming and comfortable feeling were achieved by Sally taking risks or approaching, interacting, and trusting strangers. She now feels like one of them. Looking more broadly, Sally ultimately took a bigger risk before this rather smaller risk – moving to a new country! Moving to a new country and starting a new fresh life alone is very risky for a woman to do. However, it seems like it was a necessity as she divorced.
In Jim McCormick’s “Breaking Through Uncertainty—Welcoming Adversity”, Jim takes rather more dangerous risk compared to Sally because it is directly connected to his life. Jim is a skydiver and to save his own life, he took a risk of abandoning his main parachute. Abandoning the main parachute while falling down the sky is extremely risky and it needs a strong courage and bravery as well as determination and confidence. As expected, after his risky behaviour and successfully saving his own life, he gains more confidence about his own decision making and ability as a skydiver. This benefit that he earned gets emphasized yet again when he “faced what Secret Service agents call “the dragon.”” The “dragon” in this context means “the self-doubt we carry within us” and when he did face the “dragon,” he earned “a renewed confidence and certainty.”
In Jim McCormick’s “Breaking Through Uncertainty—Welcoming Adversity”, Jim makes a great point about taking risks for greater benefit. He says in the passage that “until we acknowledge the problem and our possible inability to solve it, … we don’t have a chance of making things better.” Sally seems to know what Jim knows and she pushed herself to take a risk to get accustomed to the new country. Hence, Both Jim and Sally equally gained valuable, lifelong benefits from taking risks.