Safety is an Illusion

I believe reality is more random than most people are willing to get comfortable with. Its a core tenant in my personal philosophy of life. Bad shit happens to good people, and the inverse is also true. There’s no rhyme or reason for it, and there doesn’t have to be.

The human animal is a pattern recognition machine. Its a survival instinct and it serves us well. If the brush starts moving and we hear a growl its a good idea to wonder why, not just to say well shit happens as a lion sneaks up on us. If clouds form overhead we should recognize rain is likely. Finding reasons for things correctly and navigating through the chaos is how we steer ourselves through life and survive.

But this positive impulse can lead us astray as we search for meaning where there is none and grasp at incorrect conclusions just so we can have an answer.

Time and again we see the safety theater in our society. We put up more metal detectors, hire more screeners, place more cameras, and over and over we respond with more and more reactions to the last event. Always behind the curve, always just trying to make people feel better or look like we did something, anything, even if its senseless. It’s an act and its useless at best.

There are things we can do, within reason, real reason. Things that can extend our quantity and quality of life.  We can not text and drive, we can lose fat, live an active healthy lifestyle, sleep enough (my big deficit), we can learn to better manage and control stress. Of interest to the readers here we can study firearms, learn to use and own them safely, we can train in fighting arts, we can get first aid and medical training. These things make us safer and more capable for those items that we can respond to, but to be clear, not everything is in our control.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing”
~Helen Keller

I caution against the notion that I can ever prepare, or even that I want to prepare, for everything. I’d like to spend my time living my life, loving my friends and family, and making sure I am enjoying the process. If someone decides to drive a bomb into my building, starts to fire from an elevated position into the crowd I’m in, or just falls asleep at the wheel of a semi truck while I’m driving there is very little I can do about it. Carrying a tool for self defense, keeping some medical gear like a tourniquet in my pocket, maybe an emergency bag nearby, and spending a little time training seems reasonable to me.

I’m not paranoid, I’m not scared, I’m just a little prepared as I embrace the chaos that is this short ride we get in the universe.

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