Voboril: Don’t let a litigious society prevent squash your curiousity about the world
September 3, 2017
I was recently asked to evaluate a matter to determine whether there was potential for liability among the contemplated courses of action. My immediate, deadpanned reply was that, in our system, every avenue carries with it the possibility of a lawsuit. It was perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but appreciated by the recipient nonetheless.
The logical conclusion of our litigious society is to make the cautious actor risk-averse almost to the point of immobility, both physically and psychologically.
For the adventurous among us — the entrepreneurs, the explorers, the boundary-pushers — this serves as little deterrent. But for others, it removes the power of the curiosity with which we are born. The capacity for wonder should not be jettisoned upon arrival at adulthood; it should not be circumscribed by artificial barriers.
The mention of the word "wonder" usually conjures an image of the sort of slack-jawed amazement typified by children and the prodigiously stoned. Not coincidentally, these are two populations that traditionally ignore the social constructs that are underlain by our legal system. But one need not be a kid or hyper-baked in order to appreciate the benefits of a more open and creative worldview. The freedom to think beyond the limits of current understanding is available to all. In this context, wondering is a purely cognitive endeavor: It is both the impetus to imagine and the reaction that we have to the insights gained from the process.
But there is a practical, logistical component to wondering. Certainly, not every person has the ability to transcend their circumstances and satiate the far reaches of their curiosity. Yet the citizens of this valley, regardless of fiscal standing, have the necessary prerequisites to push the boundaries of what is possible for us, for our kin, for our friends, for our community.
Migrants, whether of our own volition or as a consequence of violent or other unfortunate circumstances, most of us at one point wondered what it would be like to leave our prior homes and venture here. We still have some of that pioneer spirit, but it is being diluted as we grow more bourgeois, as we become more concerned with mortgages and judgments and marketing plans and bottom-lines and decorum.
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Just as we might stop to wonder what lies on the other side of that ridge, we can wonder what it would look and feel like if we did not have two separate populations existing in the same geography. We often wonder when our next powder day will come.
What if we dared to imagine a future in which municipal decisions were not dictated by a corporate overlord? We all stared in rapt wonder at the Great American Eclipse. I am even more enthused to wonder whether it is possible for us to put behind the petty squabbles, save ourselves the brain damage of litigation and unite behind our commonalities.
I am past the point of being childish (methinks), but I can embrace the ability to be child-like when it comes to wonder. To have all of the possibilities of the universe in play is to maximize the vanishingly small time we have here on Earth. At the close of that window, I certainly don't want to wonder what might have been.
T.J. Voboril is a partner at Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril LLC, a local law firm, and the owner-mediator at Voice of Reason Dispute Resolution. For more information, contact Voboril at 970-306-6456 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.rkvlaw.com.