Sunday, November 18, 2007

Safe

I didn't anticipate doing so, but I think I'm going to write seriously today. I'm (slowly) reading Barack Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope. A great book, I'd recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest bit if interest in this country. Not so much a book on politics, but a book on the world we live in. Anyway, he mentioned something about the post-9/11 days. I'll quote him:

...imagining those ordinary acts that 9/11's victims must have performed in the hours before they were killed, the boarding of a plane, the jostling as we exit a commuter train, grabbing coffee and the morning paper at a newsstand, making small talk on an elevator. For most Americans, such routines represented a victory of order over chaos, the concrete expression of our belief that so long as we exercised, wore seat belts, had a job with benefits, and avoided certain neighborhoods, our safety was ensured, our families protected.
Now chaos had come to our doorstep.

That, along with a comment Ell made that my commute travelled by some pretty dangerous and obvious areas for a terrorist attack, really made me think about how fragile our existence really is. At any moment our happy little worlds can be disrupted -- or even eliminated -- by someone else with a quirky thought. Scary, huh? I don't really know what to think about that. What do I do to make that have less a chance of happening? Is there actually anything I can do? Probably not.

I have some guns and I know how to use them. I've talked to Ell about what to do if I'm not there. We grow our own food and heat our house with wood. We can get clean water without a well, etc etc etc, The point is, those are just things that make us feel good in the moment. In the big picture they are not things that actually make us safe. They are merely things that make us think we are safe. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running around worried the sky is falling or anything. In fact, the opposite is true. I'm just going about my day ignoring that chaos can happen at any time. Most of you are probably doing the same. And that might be all we can do.

I have no idea where I'm going with this, but I wanted to share my thoughts. Sorry to be so random. I'm off to load my guns.

6 Comments:

Blogger kimw said...

I've thought about the same things, though I don't dwell because that would make me crazy. We can rest in the knowledge that when this life ends (whenever or wherever that may be), it's not the end, but the beginning of something much, much better.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

You are certainly right that our existance is fragile. We never know when we are going to die. I also think that we can't live our lives being paranoid, because death is inevitable.

Right now I am living in one of those neighborhoods that Obama talks about avoiding, yet I dont feel any less safe here than I did at Bluffton. Perhaps the reason for that is naiveté, or it could be that because I am aware, I am more vigilant.

Either way, I would have to say that my safety is not found in weapons of any sort. Like kimw, I rest in the fact that when this life ends, it is the beginning of something much, much better, and death is actually something to rejoice about.

At the youth group i am helping out, we constantly remind the kids of Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The patterns of this world are to continue to allow the cycle of violence...

I feel like im starting to get up on my own soapbox, so i'm going to stop.


You are a great man, sam, and I'm glad you are my friend.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks for the post Sam, this life is fragile

11:42 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, if I thought too much about how everything could just tumble and fall apart at any time I would probly lose my mind thinking about it.
I do feel better in my own thoughts to know that we could live off of what we have in some form and fashion and that may only be to calm myself and that's ok with me. We just have to be aware of what is going on around us and be ready mentally and in any other way that we can for anything that may come our way. That goes with life in general the good and the bad.

12:26 PM  
Blogger hennhouse said...

I appreciate your light-hearted posts, but I appreciate when you allow yourself the opportunity to write "seriously" and challenge us to think in a different way.

4:03 PM  
Blogger 3rd string's finest said...

Hey, brother. This post hits real close home to me. For more reasons than i am allowed to talk about.

Most of my adult life I spent with caution. Focusing on things that made feel safe. ie. guns, availability of food and water, exit plans, intuition, etc...

When I became part of the military the one thing that they drilled into our heads from day one was S.A. Situational Awareness. It's a way of life for me. Sometimes I just step back from myself and watch what I do and how I act. What I see still surprises me. I always watch the people around me. Watching hands and waistlines for for weapons. Looking around me constantly for possible IEDs. looking for all the exits when I enter a building. I take a different route everytime I go somewhere and I don't even realise it. Those are just things I do when I am off duty. And you know what? I still don't feel safe.

Something my dad said a long time ago has stuck with me. He said he has faith in God for his safety but cannot have faith for anybody else' safety. You can to some extent but any more than that would be irresponsible as a protector and provider.

Just some thoughts.

11:17 AM  

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