Safety begins with you

I was recently asked to address a group in the subject of creating safety in an insecure world. When I started to consider the issue, it occurred to me that most people in the world are living in conditions that are not safe. Scan the globe starting in South Africa, moving to Zimbabwe an up through Africa to Darfur and many other places in Africa. Scan the rest of the globe that many children, possible even the majority are growing up in very dangerous environments. There is war, famine, natural disasters, drug abuse and disease that place children and the people upon whom they depend in physical danger and expose them to the spectre loss and trauma.  A famous book on the history of childhood begins by stating that the history of childhood in Europe is a history of child abuse!

I then considered why many people in South Africa look at safety as a new issue. It could be because most white people raised in the old South Africa we were very protected in an artificially insulated society. South Africa during apartheid however was not safe for the bulk of its population. The instrument that was created to keep societies safe and civilised namely the law was the cause of most people’s lack of safety. The law that is supposed to protect societal structures like the family and social institutions was used to destroy those structures.

The fragmentation of society that is the source of insecurity for most South Africans is the result of that legacy combined with how the birth of a new society has been managed.

In order to put fear and anxiety in context, one needs to recognize that there are many dangers in life and not all of them, or even most of them are physical. There are many psychological and spiritual dangers in the world. Many children are losing their cultural roots through migration and displacement, there are the dangers of which most parents are blissfully unaware like the internet and cell phone chat services that threaten the safety of children in their own homes and schools.

Achieving safety begins with creating safety within your own inner world, and then becoming a beacon of safety in the world for the people around you.

Creating safety within oneself begins with reviewing all of the skills, wisdom and techniques that you have used, since you can remember to make you self feel safe. Remember what you have told yourself that makes you feel secure and contrast that with what you say to yourself that undermines your sense of security in those times that you feel insecure of afraid. In the next few weeks I will expand upon this important topic.

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