‘Na-na-na-boo-boo! I dare you to! You chicken! I double dare you!’ That’s all that comes to mind when I see this word. I admit, I treat most dares as challenges. It is the way I approach my life. What, you say, it’s impossible? Excellent. I’ll get right to work. People have dared me before – and I work hard on those dares. The ones I don’t work on, I put on my list. Don’t worry guys: it’s going to happen, eventually.
For instance, as a little kid, I, like so many others, was terrified of the dark. I felt lost and alone, abandoned and unable to sleep when I was by myself. I couldn’t walk down the stairs if the light was off, and would scream and cry at the top. That dark was challenging me. I made myself deal with this fear little by little. I was NOT going to let a mere lack of light stand in my way. I would walk a bit of the way into the dark basement, and then run back up. I would make myself do this 3 times each day – just 2 steps down those stairs. Just 4 steps down. Again and again, until it became a game and a challenge and fun and not scary any more and no one could stop me. Now, the dark is not frightening to me. Maybe that would have happened anyways, with age, but in my life, I know that my ability to be in the dark is an accomplishment.
There are many who disagree with me. ‘When something is that much of a challenge,’ they say, ‘you should give up’. Giving up is often the much more rational thing to do and it’s much easier. After all, there is nothing wrong with a night-light. And the time wasted on meeting dares can probably be better used to do other things – maybe improve on something I’m already good at. They let dares go by as if they don’t even hear them.
I can see where they’re coming from. Sometimes dares get one into really ridiculous and fairly unfortunate situations. From the time Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) fell off a roof, to the time I stood outside in shorts and a tee-shirt in Edmonton in midwinter until I got pneumonia, dares have led to stupid, unhealthy, ridiculous consequences. (I had a big test the next day, and I told someone that maybe I could get sick to avoid it, and they dared me to do so and of course, I did. God was not amused. I didn’t get to miss the test – I had to write it with a nasty headache. I did however come down with pneumonia right after.) It lets people control me – all they have to do is dare me to do something.
Still, I prize my ability to tackle a dare. Perhaps, this year is a good time for me to be selective in which ones I chose. Going dancing despite my lack of coordination? Definitely. Becoming a terrific telemarketer despite my discomfort with strangers? Maybe not this year. (I know better than to say ‘never’. God simply *loves* a dare.)
What about you? Do you have a good ‘dare’ story? Did you know that this blog has a comments section you can write in? Few people do, but if you have a moment, this could be the time to change all that. Is there a challenge you are planning to meet this year? Is there a dare that you met that you’re proud of? One whose consequences were less dignified but somewhat amusing in hindsight? Tell us about it. You may be too private to share. I get that. So write about it for yourself, somewhere private. Plan to break a limitation, overcome an issue, solve a puzzle, gain a skill. Tell me about it or not, but do something daring. Go ahead. I dare you.