Safety

Psychiatrists tell us that, of all the human needs, the need for safety is the greatest. It is the need that concerns us before worry about anything else. Without safety, they say, we can not be happy, fulfilled or content.

But safety is an unusual need in that it is based almost entirely upon an illusion. As humans, we are blessed (and cursed) with the knowledge that death is inevitable and that it could happen at any time. At best, safety is relative, at worst it is nonexistent and just a figment of our overactive imaginations.

The simple truth is that we are never safe. Freak accidents, diseases and any number of other deadly incidents can take place at any given time. Even if we lock ourselves away in a metal room and remove all foreseeable hazards, death and injury can find us. Deep down we know that.

If true safety were a requirement of our happiness, humans would be driven mad in frenzied attempts to mitigate every possible hazard, knowing that it is all a futile effort. As long as our mortality can not be escaped, safety can not be achieved.

Yet, most people, feel safe when they sleep at night. Though literally anything can happen while they slumber, they rest assured that they will wake up the next morning in much the same condition that they went to bed.

Our minds, over the years, have trained themselves to ignore the millions of risks we face, responding only to the most immediate and probable dangers we face. Much of this is self preservation, enabling us to spend our energy on the things that are most likely to hurt us, but much of it is also self deception, allowing us to turn a blind eye to less visible risks.

This has resulted in a warped sense of safety. The dangers we face every day have become skewed and warped by a combination of convenience, media hype and misinformation. Whether the dangers are bad drivers, terrorists, heart disease or bird flu, we know we can't possibly protect against all of the hazards we face, so we focus on the ones that make us feel the most safe, not necessarily the ones that pose the greatest risk.

That is the crux of the safety problem. Since safety is an illusion, so are many of the dangers. What makes us feel safe is often very different from what actually improves our chances of survival. What helps us sleep at night is rarely what helps us wake up in the morning.

This need for safety has become our Achilles heel. Our mortality has become our mortal weakness. We know neither safety nor happiness so long as we give in to illusions of safety and of danger. We are never as safe as we feel we need to be, nor are we in as grave of danger as we often think we are.

These notions, however, are lost on us as safety is a feeling and it knows no intellect. There is no rationalizing with the idea of safety or the people that feel they do not have it. Once lost, the quest for the feeling of safety is all-consuming, usually overpowering better forms of judgment and pushing us down paths we would never otherwise take.

The time has come to breathe. To realize that, while this need for safety that drives us is a positive thing, it is no being used to drive us down paths we need not tread. Safety has never been anything but an illusion and that lack of grounding is used against us every day of our lives by our governments, our media, our businesses and even others on the street.

The truth is that safety comes from within. You can not buy it, you can not vote for it and there is no knowledge that mysteriously grants it. Safety comes from within ourselves and our loved ones. It's about a place in your room that makes you feel safe, about being warm in the arms of a loved one, about finding the one thing that reminds you of safer times.

Safety is an illusion and it is a necessary one. However, we have to stop looking outside of ourselves to find it. Any illusion the world can give us can also be found within. If we make our own illusions, we can use them to our advantage. If we let others make our illusions, they can use them to their advantage.

It takes inner strength to do this, to look within for answers that do not exist, But that strength is what it truly takes to feel safe in such a crazy world.

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12 Responses to Safety

  1. Justin F H says:

    Safety isn't an illusion in some cases. To me, safety is a real thing, it's just that nobody is ever completly safe. If safety is an illusion, then it is a necessary one, otherwise we'd all go insane and we'd be putting ourselves in more danger.

    Besides, what's the point in live if we wake up worrying about the potential dangers that await us?

  2. Cerberus says:

    Nothing is safe, only safer.

  3. xavier says:

    y b safe? i dont wont 2 only n bed!

  4. Aaron B says:

    Saftey, is an illusion. We cannot stop the inevitable. So instead of a blind eye, open it, and see what lays before us when death comes. Death isn't an ending, it is just another beginnning. The only saftey you need, in the terms defining saftey, take heed of words given, and emotions taken. Everyone is in a process…let time and your heart complete it.

  5. Erick says:

    I have no comment other then the fact that I'm am not worried about anything…more of just tired of what I keep dealing with en which becomes a sickness. For so long more then my life I have dreamt of what will go wrong & the mistakes I will make; yet it is life going as it wills thus I can never avoid these thoughts or times I only remember what I've had nightmares of when the issues do happen to occur and with that I will type these words: Your rant is good and relates to some of the times I deal with, however no matter how much we understand or how smart were able to become paths cannot be changed when there behind you en a future will never be expected if we trust in moments, which have already passed us by….. -Shadow

  6. Nataly says:

    Great, now I'm a hypochondriac. :^o

  7. dragondarkangel says:

    howdy ya'll

  8. gabzi says:

    i never feel totaly safe but ther yu go who reali does???
    awsome tho totaly true

  9. Rafael says:

    You just have to relax and take everything day by day minute by minute. If you stress about every little thing, you're going to kill yourself.
    So just chill. What happens, will happen. Its how you deal with thiings in the end is what matters.
    At least, thats my view on everything.
    I may be wrong. ;P

  10. Caroltn says:

    You know that none of the things you have posted as rants are actual rants, right?

  11. Searchin1961 says:

    As a old Irish saying goes:Live what life brings.Die what death comes.And if I may be so bold as to add my own two cents:Try to enjoy your self along the way!!!!We only live once don't sweat what ya can't control!

  12. Nicole says:

    i dont have any comments on this one. it was very intresting and i never saw it that way.

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