In Praise of Risk and the late Anne Duformantelle

Anne Duformantelle, 1964-2017

3 years ago today, French philosopher and psychoanalyst Anne Dufourmantelle, best known for her work on risk-taking (“In Praise of Risk”), drowned while saving two children off a beach in France. She died in circumstances true to her word: “When there really is a danger that must be faced in order to survive…there is a strong incentive for action, dedication and surpassing oneself.”

I was shocked when I read about her 2 years ago. Would I be able to do the same? My immediate thoughts were, I have so much unfinished business, a family to take care of.

Voices fought in my head for the ensuing days, gravitating between cowardice, romanticism, self-preservation, sensationalism… I meditated longer and harder than I normally did.

And finally I settled.

I checked my savings and bought additional insurance to cover a small gap of risk to protect my family.

And I decided to take publishing my work more seriously – my small contribution to humanity and humble legacy. So yes, I owe Ms. Duformantelle for my prolific writing.

And from there on, good’ol mindfulness – my renewed vow to live in the now.

I don’t know what it’s going to be like when the time comes, but at least I’ve made the effort. Thank you Anne, a true philosopher – you’ve changed the course of one man’s life.