Quotes and Extracts

“The worship of safety represents a profoundly pessimistic attitude towards human potential.”

Frank Furedi’s book “A Culture of Fear” 1998

“Adventure is when the individual steps beyond their previous experience and where the activity has an element of the unknown in the outcome.”

Dictionary definition

“Life is safer than it has ever been, but we’re no longer prepared to accept risk in anything we do. […] Why don’t we have more common-sense? […] We need to make sensible decisions about what really is dangerous, formed on the basis of weighing up the facts, rather than public hysteria. By making everything appear life-threatening, we’re in danger of crying wolf once too often. People who do a lot in their lives risk making a lot of mistakes; people who do less probably make fewer; and there are some people who never make any mistakes at all. But they’re not really living.”

Alice Thomson, The Daily Telegraph

“A journey that is self-consciously about safety is very different to one that is about exploration and discovery. The end result of the obsession with risk is to endorse a diminished sense of humanity and the human potential for improvement.”

Dr Frank Furedi, op cit

“Many more people are now building innovative businesses. These are hungry and acquisitive people, keen to make their mark and their fortune. They are secure enough to bear the risk of failure and confident enough to learn from their mistakes and move on. They thrive on uncertainty and value fun and excitement… They are often the ‘backpack’ generation, who figured that gambling two or three years of their early career is like travelling the world in a ‘gap’ year – unpredictable, risky, inspiring and character-building. Business in the 21st Century needs such people. The UK is not blessed with a glut of such risk-takers. Research suggests that we are still a country of ‘risk avoiders’, so we should perhaps cultivate those who show more entrepreneurial tendencies.”

Professor Ray Wild, Principal, Henley Management College

“We should not ask what the meaning of life is. Rather, each man is questioned by life and must answer for his own life. Adventure heightens that questioning.”

Viktor Frankl

“Everything we do in our everyday activity, in our work and leisure, involves some element of risk. Risk is an inescapable part of our lives. The challenge for all of us […] is to manage risk in a way which gives us the necessary protection we need without constraining what we do beyond a level that is justified.”

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, letter of support for conference ‘A Question of balance – risk and adventure in society’, Royal Geographical Society, November 2000

Other Quotations:

“Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure.”
Piero Ferrucci

“It is only by taking risks from one hour to the other that we live at all.”
William James

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.” Salvador Dali Lama



“To explore the nature of outdoor education and adventure training and their potential for recovering a sense of conscience and commitment in society.”

(Oct. 1986) Aim of the St Georges’s House Consultation which preceded the Hunt Report “In Search of Adventure”

“Anxiety is one of the greatest of modern ills. And it flourishes most in the fat soil of security. It is a middle-class disease, endemic in those countries which enjoy the highest standards of living and the greatest stability. We have banished fear, which is a healthy emotion, only to admit anxiety, which is a morbid one. We no longer wake up in the morning mildly astonished and delighted to have been safely brought to the beginning of this day. We no longer spring to our feet to satisfy ourselves that there is no immediate threat. Instead we come gradually to consciousness, and lie in bed in complete safety, gnawed by anxiety… The man who pins his faith on security is bound to suffer from anxiety, for he knows in his heart that however many insurance policies he takes out, he can never really be safe. This very night his soul may be required of him. It is only when he turns outward, to some end outside himself, in other words embarks on life’s adventures, that he saves himself and exchanges anxiety for mere fear.”

Tom Price. Address to the RSA 1966

“The coming of the information economy offers the tantalising promise of a modern alchemy, the ability to create wealth out of nothing. Modern economies will not be constrained by lack of resources, but only by lack of imagination, of creativity, of ideas… The cultivation and exploitation of imagination will need new organisational forms. Hierarchies will have to be built on respect rather than power. Ownership will increasingly be vested in the creators rather than the financiers, and education systems will change to reflect the need to create knowledge rather than to collect it. It could be a new Renaissance, challenging the existing order and creating a new one.”

Charles Handy: Demos 1996

“We all realise intuitively that the safety we seek must in some way be balanced against the benefits we forgo. Society may wish in addition to ensure the regulation of risks that offend against society’s collective sense of equity and fairness… The argument is now widely accepted that a properly informed balancing act between risks and benefits is of central importance to decisions on the levels of risk that are tolerable.”

Jenny Bacon. Health & Safety Executive 1999

“Risk is crucial to life… Without an understanding of risk, there is no achievement, there is no sense of the need to strive for things and no sense of how to cope with failure. Children have to be allowed to fail, to face risk, even danger at times, in order to recognise the emotions triggered by those events, find ways of coping with them and develop their own judgement. When children haven’t developed a solid basis of judgement in the face of risk, adolescence may be harder to deal with. In fact we may be unwittingly sowing the seeds for greater health-risk in teenagers due to our reluctance to let them experiment as younger children.”

Kate Figes. The Guardian Aug. 14 2000

“The new general teaching requirement for health and safety states that pupils should be taught […] to recognise hazards, assess consequent risk, and take steps to control the risks to themselves and others… In the future, pupils’ ability to assess and control risk will be increasingly important. An ability to manage risk has application in leisure activities and in the home as well as at work.”

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority – guidance document,1999

“Taking risks is part of growing up and doing things that you haven’t done before, and so may be creative. But you also need a sense of when pushing those boundaries stops being creative and becomes disturbing or self-destructive.”

Jeannie Milligan (Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic)

“It is counter-productive to focus on keeping children away from every risk, however slight… Our task as adults is to contribute towards children’s development as they become competent adults, to be part of their growing up. Children need to learn about safety and about handling risks…”

Jennie Lindon ‘Too safe for their own good?’