Friday, March 4, 2011

Safety and Security: Too High a Price?

Inspired by Verbal Energy by Ruth Walker. We’re hung up and overly influenced by concerns over safety and security. If we understand that the two words mean different things, we might get over our hang ups, feel better and make better decisions.

Safety is freedom from accidental injury or from illness. Security is freedom from intentional attack. A safe road is one you can travel without skidding into another car or falling into a pothole. A secure road is one you can travel without coming under attack. Security is a state of not having to worry. However, once we get beyond this concept, security begins to refer to measures taken to ensure confidence and tends to have an element of control and domination.

Safety, on the other hand, is an equal-opportunity concept. A safe road is for everyone, even for bank robbers in their get-a-way cars. Security is intended to let some people in and keep others out. It’s these elements of control and domination that make the term ‘security forces,’ make a freedom loving person’s blood run cold; it could bring dictatorship in the name of security.

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