CHOG #9 - DO YOU FEEL SAFE?
Updated: Aug 27, 2022
What makes us feel safe? Having adequate shelter, appropriate clothing, enough money to survive, the secure feeling that no one is going to harm us? You betcha – all of the above and probably other things as well.
Have you ever been in an unsafe situation? I’m trying to think of a time when I felt unsafe and I’m struggling to think of one. I think one time when Hayden and I were traveling to an Irish Dance competition in New Jersey, and I got lost in our rental car and exited off the New Jersey Turnpike and it was very late at night, and I didn’t know where I was….I ran 2 traffic lights in order to hurriedly get back on the highway so that no one could “get at us” was my thinking. I felt if I stopped the car, we might not be safe, as long as the car was moving, we were okay. I knew nothing about the area of town I was in, it looked like any other city, shut down at night, industrial and menacing. We were scared. Who or what just might loom out at us? A southern girl in the New Jersey night – well, you’ve seen the movies…
But no joke, I’ve never really been scared for my life or for the life of anyone I love, like in a security sense. Some people live with that pit in their stomach every day. You see the news. It’s heartbreaking, and yet, seems so out of touch with what most of us experience. In my book, INSERT GIGGLE GIGGLE, Laughing Your Way through Raising Kids and Running a Business, I have a chapter titled, Are Our Kids Safe at School. In this chapter I describe in 2012 when Steve and I were enjoying a holiday trip to New York City and ducked into a noisy bar for a cocktail. On the TV screen, which we couldn’t hear, was the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School shooting, the words at the bottom of the screen said 26 killed, 20 of them children. I thought it was a third world country, not the United States of America, so while I thought it was horrendous, I didn’t feel that affected. I hated typing that in that chapter, but I had to be honest. When I did see that it was our children, I was devastated. How could this happen here? I hate to say or to think even, that so many of us don’t seem too concerned, or maybe too “called to action”, about heinous crimes, unsafe situations, or tragedies until it hits home.
When the Lacy Peterson tragedy was unfolding and it became evident that her (loving?) husband had brutally murdered her and their unborn child and dumped them in the ocean in a container, her photo was everywhere. I wondered how it was possible that her family and friends could bare to even go get groceries while in the throes of such horror, without seeing her beautiful face. Again, I’m making a confession, and not a flattering one at that ~I told one of my girlfriends that if something like this could happen to such a random, every-day-type woman and family, it could happen to anyone and so we all should gather a packet of photos just in case. You know, so that when our photo is splashed all over, it’s photos that we are “good“ with. That’s horrible to type, but it was just sort of “gallows humor” in the face of something that none of us could get our heads around. In your wildest imagination could you ever think that something like this could actually happen….to you….?
My book centers around parents and their children as well as business tales and advice, so my chapter on safety is mostly about our kids, school and otherwise. As parents, something bad (in any form) happening to our child is the worst thing a parent can possibly imagine. You want to keep them at home, safe and sound, all the while knowing that’s not remotely possible. You beam with pride when they drive off in their first car, when they go off to college, when they travel the world, but you are the happiest when you hear their voice on the other end of that telephone. If I can’t reach my boys in a timely manner, I have threatened to call every one of their friends in my contact list (and I have everyone’s name and number still in my Contacts since they were in middle school and they are now 32 and 29!....insert giggle giggle!). But they know I’m not joking. When they were still at home and I would hear a siren, I would text them quickly just to make sure they weren’t involved. And you can just imagine my anxiety since Hayden lives in New York City with everything going on there right now! Yikes!
But all in all, I feel “secure”, and I think most of us do. We all feel that nothing tragic is going to happen to us – and I’m talking about in a crime way. But you never know, do you. I’m sure that the Sandy Hook parents, the Peterson family, and scores of families all over the world, never thought something like this would ever come to their doorstep. I mean it’s heinous, unspeakable, illogical, and when it happens, it’s to someone else. But then, here it comes knocking…..
It's funny when you think about how the world changes. When I was growing up, the worst thing imaginable (in my mind) was to be kidnapped. Speakers would come to my elementary school and talk with us, and worse, show us prepped-movies, depicting children being kidnapped and how easy it was for this to happen. I was mesmerized by these seminars, horrified, and traumatized even. The overwhelming mantra was “Never get in the car with a stranger – NEVER”. Now parents all over the world are perfectly okay to have their children, their daughters!, get in cars with strangers – you know what I’m talking about. Steve and I once exited a restaurant in downtown Atlanta late one night and saw a young, beautiful girl waiting to get in one of these modes of modern transportation. A small, not too nice-looking car pulled up, single man driving, and she jumps in. And like most parents I know, we are happy that this service is available because now our kids aren’t out there drinking and driving. And of course, I know that the statistics of something happening in one of these situations have been surprisingly rare, but just a funny comment on how the world has shifted. I once heard a comedian or talk show host say something like, “Yeah, we now jump willingly into the cars of strangers and give other strangers the keys to our house!”. Funny huh?
Anyway, can you ever be safe? Can you predict against all probability that “nothing” will happen to you or your family? I bet the Sandy Hook parents (and now the Uvalde community) felt safe in their nice, quiet neighborhood. I’m sure the Peterson family never imagined in the deep recesses of their mind that something like this could happen to their tight-knit family. Who could? Parents of my preschool used to inquire about our safety measures. It’s a very interesting chapter, if you get a chance to read it. What I found interesting (and sad) to have to tell parents, is that our security system (and the way it functioned) for 23 years, again sadly, was more about managing divorced parents, with strict visitation and even restraining orders, from getting into the school and interacting or taking their own child! And so many times you get an Amber Alert on your phone, and yep, it’s a member of the family that has absconded with a child in the family. So again, in the preschool example and in this Amber Alert example, do you just sort of shrug and not take it too seriously…I mean the child is with a member of their family, how bad can it be? Well, I think you can see just how bad it can be. I could list dozens of news stories that involves a terrible death of a person being committed by a (loving) family member. It seems almost correct in saying that “everyday people” have that threat as more of a possibility than some random act of violence.
Not a very happy Chog, and one that really has no substance as far as advice to think about or implement. We can have guns in our house, the very best police presence, all sorts of safety devices attached to our home, car, and person, and sadly, tragedy can still come knocking. Stay safe everyone ~
Next up…..Do You Take Supplements?
Always remember each day to insert a giggle giggle ~ Kay 😊