3 Nov

I’ve been thinking about safety lately.  I have a bunch of questons, and no real answers, but one of my questions is, how safe is too safe? 

What set me out to thinking about this is the image of students having to go through metal detectors to go to school.  I certainly understand concerns about student and faculty safety, and perhaps the threat in those schools is great enough to justify using this method.  However, there’s something extremely invasive about this, and just the image seems awfully out of place.   Also, does having a metal detector make the students feel safer?  I’m not so sure.

Just knowing how things work, I bet kids can get whatever they want into the school anyway, if they try hard enough, and I question the efficacy of making bottlenecks.  I also just think acting suspicious breaks down a level of trust between the adults and the students at a school.

Also I just feel cynical about it–making people get checked before they go into the school doesn’t stop kids from having guns, they can just wait outside with them if they truly have ill intent.  Metal detectors alone won’t save anybody.

However, I’m not just thinking about schools.  People can get so fixated on safety, that they stifle themselves, pad themselves into rooms, and hide away.  I’m afraid that this sort of living does not lead to growth.  Retreat is meant to be a temporary function, people stuck in perpetual retreat don’t end up being happy people.

I know this, because there’s a side of myself that would just LOVE to seal myself away, and to have the world filtered to me.  I think most people have this side, otherwise why are there so many people on the internet all the time rather than out in the world doing stuff?  As a result of this safety though, information about the world gets filtered to us through others.

And I think this is the biggest mistake, of equating the massive amounts of information on television, on the internet, of equating that with experience.  It’s one thing to watch a nature show about an elephant, and another to see one in real life.  It’s one thing to read about polls and politics, it’s another to participate in election.  I’m not even talking about book-smart people not being handle reality (sometimes) because the information offered isn’t smarts, these places do the thinking for you.  Is the result of absolute safety, absolute passivity?

And doesn’t being absolutely passive set  you in a much more dangerous place than not in the end?


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