Imagine living in a faraway land of witches and werewolves and wizards.
In that land you are not a hero or a villain, you are one of the ordinary villagers that are seen milling around the village square as you buy provisions at the market.
In that magical faraway land your village, let’s call it Albionia, is a nice place to live. It’s so nice most people in the whole Kingdom would say it’s one of the best villages to live in.
There’s always supplies at the market. No one has had to really fear ogres or giants for years and years and most of the villagers are happy. But not all of them.
Some of the villagers are worried that folk from other villages want to move to Albionia. Some villagers are upset that the lord of the manor no longer makes all of the laws, some of them are made in a far flung part of the Kingdom.
Can you see where I’m going yet? Subtlety is not a speciality.
So, anyway, one day the lord of the manor says to all of the villagers that they can move to a new, possibly even better village. Although on the other hand the village might not be any better than the one where they live now.
To get to the new village all that they have to do is walk down a path, but there is a problem, every villager should take the path or none at all.
The villagers that aren’t happy say moving to a better village is what everyone should do.
They say “The new village will definitely, almost certainly, possibly be better” even though they live in a nice village right now.
What would you do?
One sunny day a few weeks before all of the villagers are due to hold a vote to make their decision, the Lord of the Manor makes a new announcement.
“My dear villagers. When I told you about the path to what might become our new village I forgot to mention something to you.” He said.
“Once you decide to leave our village, once you start along that path, there is absolutely no turning back. You will have made your decision.”
What would you do now?
A few days later a group of very experienced woodsmen ride into your village to stay for a night. They are woodsmen who know about science and politics and business and a whole host of other important things. One of the woodsmen even happens to be the King of the most powerful land in the whole of your enchanted planet.
The woodsmen rise almost as one and say “Although your new village may or may not be better than this lovely one the path you will have to take is treacherous.
“There may well be dangers along the path, dangers which even with all of our experience are impossible to predict.”
“All we know is that if you have started on the path, no matter what, you can’t turn back and return to this very nice village.”
What would you do now?
Now if you were a gung ho type of fellow you might say “WTF, let’s take the path”
But most of us are not.
It’s not a fairy story to worry about walking into the unknown with no option of turning back.
It’s not even Project Fear.
It’s called being sensible.
Seriously, when you are faced with a decision which is full of uncertainty and a point of no return, surely is plain old common sense to say “actually, my village right now is pretty splendid, why would I want to step into the unknown for something which isn’t guaranteed to be any better than I already have?”
In our far off land there are many, many types of people.
Maybe you could be like a little pig who builds his house out of straw?
You could but most villagers are a lot more sensible than that.