All our lives were conditioned to fit inside a tiny little box; because it’s easier. Easier to manage, maintain and control. Our whole lives were told we have to ask permission; we’re told what to, what to learn, what to say and what not to say. Growing up we’re told not to talk to strangers, cross busy roads, or stay out past dark, because it’s “safer.”
This results in living a “safe” life; we seek safe, secure jobs and live in safe neighborhoods. Time and time again I’ve been cordially reminded by others how dangerous traveling can be. “Be safe!” “Be careful!” “Take care!” Is the world really that dangerous!?
More and more I’m realizing our perceptions of what is safe or right is merely an illusion. Life doesn’t fit nicely into a yes or no, right or wrong, safe or dangerous. Our perception is influenced by our environment. Recently a friend came to me beaming, bragging about his winnings at the casino. While I congratulated him, I wondered to myself how many times he had lost in the past. House odds would tell me he’s probably down overall, but yet my first reaction was excitement, thinking I should get to the casino soon! The problem is that you don’t hear about the losses, only the winnings.
I suspect the same is true with regards to the safety of other countries. A story about a kidnapping in Europe is news-worthy, but you’ll never hear a breaking news report entitled, “All is well in South America, no safety concerns here!” However, few talk about the fact that there was recently a quadruple homicide in Detroit. No one is telling me to be safe when I walk out my front door!
We all have preconceived notions about the world around us, but very seldom do people question them objectively. This is true all throughout life and often gets us into trouble. People thought their jobs were safe five years ago. People thought mortgages were safe and smart to take out without questioning them, only to find things aren’t always as perceived.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a rendition of The Truman Show.
“We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.”