This piece – or portions of it -- has been sitting on my computer -- and in my mind -- for a long time. I started it after hearing about one of the all-too-common mass shootings that have taken place in recent years around the world, a pandemic of another sort that began long before what we’re going through right now, but in a some ways, strikes the same chords when it comes to our emotions and feelings on a base level.
After re-reading the notes and scribblings I made back then, I thought today might be an appropriate time to finish it. It’s what I like to call a “ramble,” something that runs out of my head like the contents of an egg that’s been dropped in a hot frying pan. (In that respect, maybe I should call it a “scramble.”) In other words, everything I want to say is there, but as it forms and solidifies in the pan, I’m not sure it came out in the form I intended. Anyway, I’ll stop explaining and let you be the judge.
I want to be safe.
And, I want my family and my friends to be safe. I also want you to be safe, whoever you are. Whether you’re young or old. Regardless of your beliefs, race, upbringing, where you live or your socioeconomic status.
Whether you’re civilian, law enforcement or military.
Employed, a student, between jobs or homeless.
Insured or uninsured. Male or female.
Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist.
Gay. Bi. Straight. Trans. Questioning.
Blue collar or white collar. Democrat, Republican, Independent, Communist or Libertarian.
Religious? Pro-“this” or Anti-“that”? No? Not sure? Doesn’t matter to me.
I want you to be safe.
And healthy. I also want you to be healthy, healthy enough to safely and productively share what you feel and believe, your thoughts and fears. But also, to make others feel safe by listening to their thoughts, fears and beliefs in a productive, healthy way.
Nothing is perfect, and no one is perfect. We will never have everything we want, all we need, and we’ll never agree on everything. That’s not what life and this world are about. And, that would be boring, wouldn’t it?
But everyone, everyone, has the right to feel safe: in public, in their neighborhoods, in their homes, everywhere they go.
We should be able to go through our days without fear, and to communicate and interact with one another without worry that something bad over which we had no control will happen to us.
In other words, safety, in its purest form and observed and honored by all, is peace.
But all too often in our world, that safety – that peace – doesn’t just happen. It needs a push, a catalyst, a spark, a ray of hope.
Maybe it’s idealistic, and I know this drum has been beaten innumerable times, but when we stop letting our differences separate us and use them to work for us – for all of us – we reach productive solutions, not perfect ones, but ones that keep us moving forward.
The big ones and the small ones.
This is us, and we need to use our differences and the diversity of our skills, knowledge, experience and wisdom as a human, and humane, population to figure out a way – in a civil and peaceful way -- not only to feel safe, but to besafe. That is, and should remain, our focus because that is our inalienable, absolute right.
Today. And every day.
Be safe today. That's your right. And help others feel safe as well, because that's their right
© 2020 David R. Haznaw