creative writing · Life thoughts

Safety in Numbers

I like to think of the world as a safe place.

There’s the reality of catastrophe, of woe, of the ordinary tragedies of a commonplace life: the fickle violence of nature. The irrational agony of sickness, the maladies that strike the young and old, that take the best from us too soon, that cause us to wallow in misery from the unfair nature of illness and disease.

I know that death is inevitable, that it can come from a slip and fall or from a car crash or something more sinister, something premeditated, something passionate, something caused by human nature– it could be the result of error or neglect or malignancy. I never fear death for myself, but certainly do fear it for my daughter, for my husband. In the first few months that followed her birth, I was eaten alive with anxiety: imagining dark and dangerous scenarios that inevitably left one or both of them in a state of a perpetual end: SIDS, a tragic accident, rolling over on her in sleep.

But I like to think of the world as a safe place. A place where people– it’s people– ultimately hope for mutual survival. When I hear of a tragedy caused by the hands of a fellow man– one caused by ignorance, or fear, or hatred, my heart hurts.

It hurts for those that suffer. For the world that suffers. For the brokenness of everything, to mourn the fact that our world– despite what I want to believe, is not an inherently safe place. It’s flawed, and anguished, filled with people with skewed views and broken hearts, with tortured souls and bad politics, with hatred and bigotry and fear. It’s filled with people that are scared to be accepted, scared to accept others, scared to change– and fear breeds the worst kind of actions, actions that often lead to bodies that are left battered, bruised, or with bullet holes and bleeding out in their car.

I want to think the world is a safe place. I want it to be safe for my daughter, for my friends, for the people I love and those that love them. But the past few weeks and months and years show a tired record of disparity, of anger and violence and fear: we are at a turning point in this world. Not just this nation, but this world.

Great change is needed before this planet can ever be safe.

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