I’m watching TV when the warning “don’t try this at home” comes up. I understand that this is more of a liability statement more than anything else but what if I really wanted to try it at home?

I can imagine that today’s professional wrestlers were moonsaulting off of the couch in their family homes years before they were even ready to get in the ring; that today’s TV bounty hunters were getting into some school-yard fights way before they started chasing wanted men. It’s harder to imagine that these ‘professionals’ were being courteous and kind little boys and girls and when they became 18 suddenly had the fine notion of endangering their lives.

Now, imagine hearing this warning to avoid risk and interpreting it as career advice. You want to become a stunt man but you’re told not to do it at home. Don’t they see that they are only standing in the way of your dream? You’re looking for support and they only tell you to quit. Obviously, if you’re not an adult, the decision of when you can put yourself at risk rests on your parents’ shoulders but, if you are an adult, it’s insulting to have someone tell you not to take a gamble.

I suppose that’s really the reason why I’m writing this. As a cartoonist, I look for resources that can offer advice on procedures, techniques, and common business practices. Every once in a while, I encounter the advice to not take a risk. I’d be wasting my time, my money, and my effort on a chance that may not be worth it. The experts say, “don’t do it” and I resent them for it. I appreciate being made aware of the risks and I can understand someone not encouraging me to throw away my money. It’s nice that they’re looking out for me. And maybe I’m interpreting it as more patronizing than it was meant to be but I don’t like being told to give up or quit a project just because it may not be profitable. Profit doesn’t always determine worth.

If I fail, I fail. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some lessons are learned with scrapes and bruises and those lessons are valuable. There should be nothing preventing me from brushing the dust off and trying again. Ultimately, it’s my decision and being told “don’t try it at home” is unwelcome advice.