a little something extra

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Principle: "Safe" is just a baseball term

While I was more than happy to stand up for the first two principles, I have a more ambivalent response to today's. But if we're gonna talk honestly about the precepts that lead to the ways we live our lives, we risk getting into some deep and murky territory.

It is my opinion that nothing and nobody is ever truly safe. It is my further opinion that thinking one is safe is a delusion, consciously chosen or not.

This is probably factually true. "Safe" is an absolute condition. Absolute conditions very rarely exist, and almost never endure.

Complete physical safety and complete emotional safety are equally impossible to come by.

Right now I'm sitting in my desk chair in my office at work. "Safe," right? But of course at any second the building could catch fire, or I could develop a violent reaction to the mold in the walls, or the lamp standing next to my desk could short-circuit and explode, shooting shards of hot glass and metal into my body.

I'm "safe" in the company of friends, right? But other people can be depended on, finally, only to pursue what's best for them. So, one can only be "safe" in relative terms, not absolute ones.

True as it may be, this is not a very useful principle on which to base decisions or live a life. It might be more useful to say, "Yes, you're not safe. Nobody is. Live anyway."

I may, however, continue to snicker inwardly at the frequent references I hear and read to "making a safe space" for this or that. (This phrase comes up a lot in artistic pursuits, maybe an occupational hazard.)


At 5:35 PM , Blogger Cristopher said...

yowch. You're right, not all guiding principles are roses and sunshine--some are thorns.

thank you for telling this truth. I'm not going to trivialize it by trying to talk you out of it, even if it makes me fear that there is nowhere you can ever be at peace.

At 10:02 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

I appreciate that.


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