Feeling Safe in an Unsafe World

 

There is anxiety about the safety of pesticides on food, lead in our water, road rage, terrorist attacks, school shootings. And the list goes on. Feeling safe in the world today is not easy. We are confronted with so many situations that make us anxious. The situations and the anxiety they provoke are on a continuum, but it seems that the uncertainty of our safety has resulted in an almost constant state of anxiety. Sometimes we are well aware of our anxiety; at other times, it is below the surface, but can be easily pulled to the top. So, how can we help ourselves and the young people in our lives cope with this world of uncertainty?

I need to stress that feeling safe is different from being safe. We cannot always control the reality of the world. Parents cannot eliminate pollutants, lead in water, road rage, and so on. They can, however, help children develop a sense of trust in the world. We do that from the moment we hold our newborns in our arms; we make them feel safe. When we hold them and feed them, we let them know that their needs will be met. When we respond to their cries, we let them know that their communication has meaning and they can trust that communicating will have a positive consequence. When we reassure them by going in their room when they are calling us, we let them know that we will do what we can to keep them safe. As they get older, we let them know that we trust that they can take care of themselves, meet their own needs, and make good decisions about their own health and safety. This process is ongoing; even as adults, we know we need to trust our safety to others sometimes (our physicians, our lawyers, our significant other, our own children).

This development of trust, therefore, is a critical factor in feeling safe in an unsafe world. It can be enhanced by various strategies:

  • Recognize the impact of the availability and representativeness heuristics. Heuristics are “rules of thumb” that we use to make our “everyday” decisions. They allow us to make decisions quickly and efficiently. For example, the availability heuristic is based on the “rule of thumb” that if something is easily recalled, it must be important. For example, when we search for a gift for our significant other, our search is not random. We start with the things we “know” they like; that is, we start with the things we easily recall about their preferences (he/she likes movies, theater, sports, gardening and so on). The representativeness heuristic is based on the “rule of thumb” that if something is easily available, it must represent the bigger picture. If we stick with the “problem” of getting a gift for our significant other, then a gift we selected in the past (which is easily recalled/available to us) becomes representative of their preference for future gifts. (If they liked the flowers last time, flowers come to symbolize or represent the category of “appropriate/good gift”). Thus, the easier it is for us to think of something (the more available it is to us) and the more we think that it is the “rule” (representative of the total situation), the greater impact it will have on our thinking. In essence, these heuristics combine to form the basis of a stereotype. Based on the example that comes to mind, we generalize to the larger group. So, if we watch the news and see stories about bullying, illness, murder, and terrorism, then we will think of these things often and come to believe it is the way the world is. If we hear stories of helpfulness, kindness, and compassion, then we will believe that the world is full of such attributes.
  • What we are exposed to via all forms of media, influences what is available and representative. We need to make a conscious effort to seek the balance – that is – to seek out the stories that remind us of the safer parts of our world. When we are talking to children and teens, we need to make it a point to mention the daily kindnesses we experience. Sometimes that is difficult for adults to recognize, but such things happen every day. Someone picks up something we have dropped, someone offers us candy while at a meeting, someone offers a seat on the bus or train, a baby offers their blanket to a parent, someone offers condolences, and so on. These “simple” acts are as much a part of human nature as any horror we hear about on a daily basis; in fact, they are the norm while the horrors we hear are the deviance from the norm.
  • While it is important to teach our children about stranger danger, it is also important to let them know why we, as adults, can talk to other adults we do not know. The same way they make friends with other children in school or at the library or in the park, we can make friends with other adults in the supermarket, or at the park. Let them know that when they are grown-ups, they will be able to make friends with other grown-ups. After all, this is the basis of all future intimate relationships. Relationships without trust are fragile at best.
  • Once we hear something that makes us feel unsafe, and the anxiety begins, then we must control the anxiety. The first thing we need to do is calm our body down. This is best accomplished by taking a few deep breaths and concentrating on breathing (rather than on the event that caused the anxiety). The second thing to do is “think good thoughts.” We need to have a “go to” list of happy, good thoughts that are easily available to us (this can be those pictures of kittens and puppies or the list of kindnesses discussed above). Third, we need to have a “what if” plan – a plan of what we will do if the thing we are worried about really happens: if that bully at school is trying to get you alone, you will ask the teacher if you can stay after class to talk or offer to buy a snack for a friend so you are walking with someone else; if there is a terrorist event that once again eliminates cell service and electricity, we will have a specific meeting place set up and we will get there as soon as possible, etc. Finally, as an adult, you will model feeling safe. You will breathe, say good things about the world, talk about how you will handle things if they do not go as we would hope. You will not be afraid.

The world we live in bombards us with realities that are frightening.   As adults, we feel it on a daily basis. We need to remember that the children and teens in our lives have an even more difficult time dealing with these realities. We need to let them talk about what they are feeling when the see the children in Syria living in the rubble, when they see the children of undocumented immigrants crying as their parents are arrested for minor infractions, when they see parents crying because their child was born ill because they were bitten by a mosquito when pregnant, or crying because their child was a victim of a school or random shooting. We need to help them process these thoughts cognitively and emotionally. We need to provide them comfort and reassurance while we also model how doing even a small act of kindness can make a difference in the world. We need to let them know that these events, while easily available to us, are not representative of the human race. Humans are born with the capacity for empathy and retain that capacity throughout their lifetime. We need to make it clear that the instances of empathy, kindness, and compassion are representative of who we, as humans, really are.

~“Looking down, you’ll see just shadows. Looking up, you will see the sun” – Jon Gilbert ~

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22 thoughts on “Feeling Safe in an Unsafe World

  1. We must instill confidence in our children and strength. Particularly in the face of adversity. We do that by being strong ourselves and exuding our own confidence. You are so in the money, because children will follow queues. If you hate, they’ll hate. But if you have self-confidence, backbone & perseverance– so will they.

  2. Reading this really gave me life! So much has been going on, US going to war, teenagers committing suicide on social media, etc.. Everytime I go on facebook I see how much this world has changed. When I was younger everything was so simple, happy, and easy. As an adult, we see and hear the craziest things and have to figure out wether we should DO something or just push it to the back of our heads. Lately the big topic on facebook us suicide. The show 13 Reasons Why aired and it literally showed a girl committing suicide and sending tapes to 13 people who supposedlt caused her to commit suicide. On facebook a young girl took her own life and her unborn child’s life because she felt like she didn’t have anyone. Her boyfriend took his own life 2 days later after the girls family and friends blamed him for her death. After watching the show and hearing this sad story it made me feel so sad. This made me think to myself, imagine all the things I’ve done or said to someone and didn’t even realize how much I hurt them. The smallest things a person says or does can mean something very big to someone else. After reading this article, I feel motivated to change my ways and be more positive. I want to make a random persons day. I want to spend a day talking to a homeless person and giving them food. I want to engage in a conversation with a complete stranger and just talk. I want to listen to someone, be a good friend and let people know they are not alone. I not only want to do all these things because of this article but because that’s all I wanted from someone. I’ve been suffering from depression for a while now and to have someone to just talk to and listen to means a lot even if its just a random conversation. I think me talking to a stranger and listening to their stories will not only help them but me too. THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE!

    1. I am so glad that you found this article so motivating. You certainly lifted my spirits:) I agree that talking (whether we talk to our family, friends, or our therapist) helps all of us. To maintain our kindness we need to surround ourselves with people who support us in our efforts to be kind and help us to maintain our safety within this sometimes unsafe world. I am proud to be part of a field filled with people who devote themselves to helping people develop the inner strength to let our kindness and compassion emerge and flourish. It is always my hope that more and more people will take advantage of the support that psychologists offer.

  3. This piece is amazing and very frightening! I most certainly agree that we are living in a tough and dangerous world where we live in societies that want to harm and create some sort of fear that would harm us physically and mentally. The technology is getting better and the societies we live in are using it to create these crimes that can basically harm thousands of people! Like the media for example, in my opinion, what the mainstream media is trying to do these days is creating fear and false propaganda that will cause the people to freak out in a certain way, have different beliefs, and try to harm others. Especially when they report about certain crimes. People who are mentally ill are influenced by these crimes and they would decide to plan these horrific acts which is scary! The anxiety is at a all time high when it comes to that and I think should try to find a way to overcome that. I also agree that we have to help the children learn how to have some trust in the world so that they can be aware of what is going on and try to prevent themselves from being in danger. I feel like it’s best to keep the technology away from the children because it is basically fooling them to believe certain things they shouldn’t believe without specific evidence. As I look back into my childhood, the way how our society ran was completely different! Technology was limited and social media was basically non-existent at the time. People in different areas got along with each other and ever since the 9/11 attacks and other violent crimes happened, the media started to report these constantly and new technology was being invented and it basically allowed them to create this fear and bombardment that basically removed us from our reality. Everyone became anxious ever since. Overall, the world we live in now is very tough and even more dangerous and we must do our best removing the anxiety by teaching these children how to view the world in a positive manner and gain trust within our societies.

  4. I agree 100% with this post, a lot has been happening in this world, terrorists, school shooting, etc. NEEDS TO STOP. This world has became a world of complete chaos. We need to clean things up, even if its treating someone nicer. A lot of scary things are happening and will continue to happen but we can put a stop to this, thank you for this article it was a great read like always. Can’t wait to read more!

  5. I agree with what Dr. Urban had mentioned in her article “What we are exposed to via all forms of media, influences what is available and representative”. Social media I believe is a big factor on why many of us do not feel safe in this world, or at least for myself. Facebook has been one main problem, where people actually record themselves doing crazy things such as committing suicide, killing others, or people arguing for no reason. And, its not even facebook , you can search on google suicides that were committed today and you can literally read all of the horrendous things of why people committed suicide. Also, people are meeting other people online using apps such as tinder, instagram, and you don’t really know for sure if that person is real? I mean like 8/10 times the person is probably not real.

    Like people say, the world is a scary place. But, you don’t have to be scared to live in this world. Always: 1)Believe in yourself – listen to YOUR OWN INTUITION, not anyone else’s. 2)Be present – pay attention to what’s wrong in the world, and try not to do what others are doing. Maybe you can be that one help that will stop all of this madness in this world thats happening. and 3) Accept uncertainty- if things aren’t going right for you or even something that happened the day before you had a great day, accept it and move on. It’s life, things happen for a reason. It’s up to you, to not let those things happen again.

  6. This was a very strong passage. Whether you feel safe or not it is important to keep the positivity in your life around and always be aware of what is going on in the world. That means the good and the bad. we must hold and be held accountable when need be and encourage when we can.

  7. The reality is that we as adults are already use to what’s going on in the world now. I remember being a teenager when the year 2000 was coming and the fear the media caused, then when 6,6,6 came and how they played that as well. I believe that we just have to stay positive and just believe that things will be ok. To think positive because that’s the only way positive things will happen. We can’t allow for the negativity to take over our lives.

  8. I really liked the statement you had said on feeling safe is completely different from being safe and the examples you said such as road rage, no one can ever expect some as dangerous as that outcome and the roads are never 100% safe. I myself thought of some examples such as an abusive parent, people look to their parenrs for guidance and support but sometimes unfortunately that can turn to rage and physical abuse which tanishes someone’s trust. Children in today’s age tend to stick alone and are more confidential at an earlier stage, I’d say it’s due to how society is todag but in many cases it could be many other reasons such as dissorders, fear, lack of trust. It is important to show children that trust is one of the most vital and important things that someone can give to another so tarnishing and or not having someone’s trust especially a child could really effect how a child can turn out in the long run and what defines them as a person and they will later struggle to trust anyone if their own parents tarnish that trust at a young age. Aside from this it is best to provide a positive feel towards children but towards others to make sure that they all feel safe not just around you but with others. It only takes one person to break another person’s trust and can effect them for a long period of time but with the correct teachings and showing of trust and giving them a positive sense of feeling safe, they ultimately feel that trust and feeling of safety.

  9. I really like this post, because I agree with what you said about teaching your kids about stranger danger and showing them that adults only interact with adults and shouldn’t be associating themselves with children. But i know parents can’t live in fear and trying to lower your anxiety about any horrific situation is very hard

  10. This was a very nice post. I agree 100%. We live in a very cruel world. No matter what happens you have to stay positive. We as people can’t let the negativity bring us down. I agree with Dr. Urban when she said teens and children will have mor difficulty with realities because they are the ones who will grow up surrounded by it which is not good.

  11. We live in an unperfect world. The list of worldwide issues we face is endless. There comes a point in time where you have to face reality and except the fact that you’re on this planet and you can’t leave. There’s no use in stressing yourself out about all the things that are wrong with this planet. What we can do is stay educated. We need to see educated on things from government to what we put in our bodies. We can use the information we gather to build a healthy lifestyle and mindset. We have to look at life from another view we have to except happiness in our lives even though you will eventually experience hardships there’s always a Silverlining and it’s your choice to put the past away and live for the future live for the future you’ve always wanted.

  12. I think since the world has become more complex to live in, we create different ideas to be anxious about. Anxiety has come to take over our lives in many new ways such as fear of flying, students taking the SAT, parents worrying about their children’s futures and etc. These are relatively new ideas in human history and they create more things to be anxious about, especially in our American culture.
    Every culture has different things they feel anxious about, but we can all agree that anxiety happens everywhere in the world. It is difficult to tell someone to stop being fearful about something because we all have different fears. I think feeling unsafe has it’s positives and negatives. The positive side is that it helps our societies develop new ways to diminish or eliminate those feelings. An example would be a terrorist attack. People will feel more safe if there is more security in place because of these events and new tactics that can help avoid them again. Being safe and feeling unsafe are definitely different and I don’t think we will ever get rid of all anxiety because it will always remain contemporary.
    Before television and newspapers, people were not as exposed to the horrors of the world as we are today. We may not want to believe it, but the world of today is a much better place then it was hundreds of years ago. We do not talk about the plaques and other horrific events that occurred in the past because we focus on the events happening now. Although their are many horrific events happening today from the Syrian war, ISIS, the Venezuelan crisis and etc., we need to think about how much the world has developed. I think we should look at the events of the past and be thankful for how much we have changed and continue to make the world safer for everyone.

  13. The article describes the relations between real world situations and the anxiety that these situations provoke. The daily facts that the media continuously presents us with could be the source of our anxiety, which cause us to feel unsafe. It is important to differentiate between feeling safe and being safe. Feeling safe doesn’t necessarily mean that we are actually safe. The development of trust is critical for feeling safe in an unsafe world and there are ways the trust can be enhanced. The anxiety can be controlled by concentrating on breathing and thinking good thoughts. We need to have a “go to” list of happy, good thoughts and a plan for what to do if bad things really happen. We need to provide empathy, kindness and compassion whenever we can to the people around us.

  14. I think since 9/11 the world has become so much more cynical in how we operate and socialize with one another. We can no longer send our children out to play or to the movies with friends everything for fear of them being caught in other countries societal bombardment and utter dislike for our way of life. i believe we cannot allow such ideas to invade our freedoms to the point of anxiety. we must trust our elected officials to command our troops to continue to protect America no matter who is in the white house we must keep our civil liberties intact or risk becoming what we despise in the radical groups wishing to extinguish our right to certain freedoms and inalienable rights. we have a right to feel safe and must do all to protect that right.

  15. In a personal email, someone wrote some beautiful examples that I just needed to share. “I found this read interesting. I honestly do not know where to begin. I do agree we need to help others process thoughts in a cognitive and emotional matter. There are many people in this world that feel alone even when they’re around others and that simple act of kindness that doesn’t seem like a big deal for someone is. One day I was on the subway train in NYC and there was a man who had torn clothes, looked filthy and had a bad odor. I felt bad for the man, I gave him my only water bottle that I had on me, and I did not open it. He was not begging, he was not asking for money, he was just sitting there riding the train. After I did that little act of kindness, he looked at me and smiled. Then just moments later, a man sitting across from him took out $5 and gave it to the homeless man. The man was so happy, it was as if light went into his eyes and he had some bit of hope. I hate to see homeless men and women, but we do live in a society where that is a major issue even with shelters around. Sometimes I say why can’t they just go to a shelter and get help. Maybe they tried, maybe they got rejected, maybe they have to wait a long process, maybe they feel their strip of freedom was taken away or maybe they are so addicted to drugs that they wouldn’t be accepted nor taking care of by sending them to a rehab. The addict doesn’t know any better, the addict feels at all times he or she needs that drug or they feel like it’s the end of the world or that they are going to die without it. By me reaching out my hand giving him a water bottle enforce a positive behavior in someone else who was older than me and it also brought an emotional happiness to someone that walks around the world alone and helpless.
    I really liked your ending quote ~“Looking down, you’ll see just shadows. Looking up, you will see the sun” – Jon Gilbert ~ because it reminds of how people look down on others because they are homeless or because they are drug addicts, but just like I looked up and gave him the water bottle he saw the sun and I saw the sun. The sun was the spark in his eyes. I was so proud and happy I did that good deed. Another situation, many students in college, middle school and even high school just walk by a janitor and ignore them or laugh at their duties. I am the type of person that sees janitors stops and says hello and how their day is going. One day, one of them told me I just made their day just for saying the simple words “have a great day”. I speak loud and with a lot of enthusiasm, that is how my personality is.
    Funny story, my mom was looking for a bigger place so me and my sibling could have our own rooms and personal space. She found a beautiful place a town over where we were before and we switched schools. I was so excited to meet my landlord because my mother said he works at my school I was in and I was wondering who he was. It turned out to be the same janitor I always stopped and had small conversations with. Sometimes the small things are the big things. The landlord was so happy to see that we moved in because my mother has great kids. Her own daughter stopped and had mini conversations with a janitor while everyone else just walks by and does not say hello or thank you for keeping the school clean and neat. I totally agree with your comment “Humans are born with the capacity for empathy and retain that capacity throughout their lifetime. We need to make it clear that the instances of empathy, kindness, and compassion are representative of who we, as humans, really are.”

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, opinions and emotions”.

  16. Is the world safe for us?
    For some people, the world is becoming a better place, but in my opinion, we are getting exposed to increasing number of dangerous situations. We are living on an era of wars were violence and threats still happening. As the article “Feeling Safe in an Unsafe World” states: “The situations and the anxiety they provoke are on a continuum, but it seems that the uncertainty of our safety has resulted in an almost constant state of anxiety.” This is a problem that goes on and on and we as humans do not do anything to change it.
    From a sociocultural perspective, the tension in society increased worldwide from terrorism attacks to the global warming situation. We hear many times of bombing or shooting the past few months like example the shooting that took placed in Istanbul nightclub where one gunman killed 39 individuals in the “Reina Nightclub” during the 2016-2017 New Year eve celebration. How to forget the chemical weapon attack on Syrian town back on April were according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported “72 civilians were death including 20 children”. We can keep going on with the list of issues happening around the world. Therefore, it is difficult to say that we are in a safety world.
    We see, hear, and encounter a lot of crime today than we did in the past. Watching the news daily you can hear about a lot of crimes such as random killings or intentional kidnappings in exchange for money. Some murderers taken into custody have been proven to be psychopaths. But human been in the world is not only the one who is affecting the world, Climate changes is also a serious concern worldwide. Like example one issue is what is happening on the Artic; a chunk of iced crumbling from a glacier into a rising ocean; a devastating hurricane
    Climate change it’s a very serious concern nowadays worldwide and if I were asked to think of an image that best describes climate change, I might think of many things like a chunk of ice crumbling from a glacier into a rising ocean, a devastating hurricane. With the climate changing, like example temperature rising up and down, it is attacking and hurting people on the low incomes countries affecting primary in a healthy side. As Dr. Paul Farmer t al may have said it best: “The people who will suffer most are those who were most vulnerable to begin with, living in regions of the world with perilous human security, pervasive poverty…geographic disadvantage, and contributing the least towards greenhouse gas emissions.”. It is sad to see how the climate changes consequently brings plague, disease, and this affect people.
    In conclusion we as human being facing a lot of challenges in the 21st century and we need to take it very seriously and try to find a logical and effective solution to resolve or at least to lessen the negative impact of these challenges, for example to face the challenge of climate change all the developed and developing countries should agree on a common ground on how to face this huge problem and to put sincere effort and plans in effect so all human will be protected rich and poor, black and white.
    Also, violence and terrorism will continue to exist until we completely understand the real reason behind it and develop a comprehensive solution. Hopefully someday this world will be a better and safe place for all of us.

  17. I believe that this world has many scary things. Things that make us afraid, not only of life itself but the people that surround us, the whole world. There are many casualties that humanity has gone through, and this casualties have make human loose their trust in other humans. Many times people whom we thought were, our friends, our loved ones, hurt us. People whom we thought would never do anything bad to hurt us, will. Unfortunately, humans are not perfect. Even when we know how true this is, we like to think that we are. That we will find someone that is perfect according to our what our brain creates as the “ideal” partner, friend or family member. When someone hurts us, theses events create memories in our conscious, and many times in our unconscious, which causes people to build an invisible shield and put ourselves in a bubble which provides us not only “protection” from others, for they do not hurt us again, but also it keeps us from showing our true feelings.
    It is important to understand that if someone hurts us, life continues. It actually makes us stronger, is the way to grow. In a perfect world everyone loves everyone and there will always be peace, but as stated before, this idea is erroneous and a perfect world does not exist.
    We cannot just get hurt by the people that we know but also the people that we do not know, people that are not close to us, for example terrorist, our own presidents with their decisions, professors trying to teach us but now knowing us thinking that we are all the same and we all learn the same way, etc. these and many other examples show how dangerous and harmful the world can be for humanity.
    Turn on the TV and put on the news. You will be amazed how around 75% of the news is bad things that are happening all around the world, even in our own town. The key is not to be afraid, and realize that life goes on. Someday we will eventually die, and it is unfortunate but it will happen and we have to be realistic, and enjoy life as much as we can. Yes, I know that most of us wished we could have our parents forever or that one person that we love or our grandparents or our best fiend; or vice versa our parents wished we never grew up and they could have us forever. However this will not happen. This is why living life and appreciates the ones we love now, not when they are gone. This will make our world better, and will make us fell a little safer.

  18. I found this read interesting. I honestly do not know where to begin. I do agree we need to help others process thoughts in a cognitive and emotional matter. There are many people in this world that feel alone even when they’re around others and that simple act of kindness that doesn’t seem like a big deal for someone is. One day I was on the subway train in NYC and there was a man who had torn clothes, looked filthy and had a bad odor. I felt bad for the man, I gave him my only water bottle that I had on me, and I did not open it. He was not begging, he was not asking for money, he was just sitting there riding the train. After I did that little act of kindness, he looked at me and smiled. Then just moments later, a man sitting across from him took out $5 and gave it to the homeless man. The man was so happy, it was as if light went into his eyes and he had some bit of hope. I hate to see homeless men and women, but we do live in a society where that is a major issue even with shelters around. Sometimes I say why can’t they just go to a shelter and get help. Maybe they tried, maybe they got rejected, maybe they have to wait a long process, maybe they feel their strip of freedom was taken away or maybe they are so addicted to drugs that they wouldn’t be accepted nor taking care of by sending them to a rehab. The addict doesn’t know any better, the addict feels at all times he or she needs that drug or they feel like it’s the end of the world or that they are going to die without it. By me reaching out my hand giving him a water bottle enforce a positive behavior in someone else who was older than me and it also brought an emotional happiness to someone that walks around the world alone and helpless.
    I really liked your ending quote ~“Looking down, you’ll see just shadows. Looking up, you will see the sun” – Jon Gilbert ~ because it reminds of how people look down on others because they are homeless or because they are drug addicts, but just like I looked up and gave him the water bottle he saw the sun and I saw the sun. The sun was the spark in his eyes. I was so proud and happy I did that good deed. Another situation, many students in college, middle school and even high school just walk by a janitor and ignore them or laugh at their duties. I am the type of person that sees janitors stops and says hello and how their day is going. One day, one of them told me I just made their day just for saying the simple words “have a great day”. I speak loud and with a lot of enthusiasm, that is how my personality is.
    Funny story, my mom was looking for a bigger place so me and my sibling could have our own rooms and personal space. She found a beautiful place a town over where we were before and we switched schools. I was so excited to meet my landlord because my mother said he works at my school I was in and I was wondering who he was. It turned out to be the same janitor I always stopped and had small conversations with. Sometimes the small things are the big things. The landlord was so happy to see that we moved in because my mother has great kids. Her own daughter stopped and had mini conversations with a janitor while everyone else just walks by and does not say hello or thank you for keeping the school clean and neat. I totally agree with your comment “Humans are born with the capacity for empathy and retain that capacity throughout their lifetime. We need to make it clear that the instances of empathy, kindness, and compassion are representative of who we, as humans, really are.”

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, opinions and emotions.

  19. One of my students gave me much to consider. He wrote: ““Feeling safe is different from being safe.” This quote means a lot to me, all my life I dealt with this being a young man growing up in the Bronx. It went from being in the Bronx going by day to day not knowing if I would get through the day safely. To going away for college in Cortland, NY where life is much different in a smaller town. But no matter where you go are you really safe? Or did you just get comfortable, and adapt to all the obstacles that are presented to you on an everyday basis.
    While reading this blog I came across this quote “So, if we watch the news and see stories about bullying, illness, murder, and terrorism, then we will think of these things often and come to believe it is the way the world is.” Growing up in the Bronx there is a lot of drug violence, as well as gang violence, also some police brutality. So all these things going on around you as you grow up you tend to adapt to the environment and get comfortable. In my neighborhood I feel safe, but in reality I’m really not safe at all. Cause at any moment the chances are very high for me to be negatively affected by my community. While I’m in the Bronx, but in a neighborhood that’s not mine I don’t feel safe at all. Because now I’m put in a situation where if anything happens people don’t know me so they wouldn’t care what happens to me, as long as they’re safe along with their love ones everything is ok in their eyes.
    Living in Cortland, NY for school is very different. I feel safe because violence isn’t a big problem in that small town. But a few problems in Cortland would be townies with their drug addictions, and everyday racism that goes on. So at the end of the day I feel safe there, enough to walk around at 4 AM but am I really safe?
    In conclusion this blog gave many example of how you may feel safe, but with everything going on in the world you really aren’t safe at all. Feelings and reality have a major difference, and that’s what this blog proved. Therefore, I agree with this blog and feel life isn’t what it seems. It’s a lot deeper than you think, so you have to make the best of it”.

  20. great read. This world is indeed a dangerous and horrible place to live. I do agree that feeling safe is different than being safe is a very important statement. Anywhere and anybody can be a threat . Its sad that this is the truth and hopefully things get better. We need to rid this world of isis. That’s the first step and from there we can work on the rest of the things that are wrong. But through all the bad there is good. I experience everyday good people doing good things, and that gives me hope and I do believe there will be a time in the future where things are gonna start to get better, we are gonna learn from are mistakes.

  21. I couldn’t agree anymore with what you’ve given us Dr. I’m very much glad I was able to read this piece, and I’m so happy that you distinguished the different meanings of “feeling safe” and “being safe.” As others have pointed out this world in this time is going through a frenzy and sadly the new generations are going to be exposed to this hatred and violence that surrounds all of us. With you helpful tips hopefully we can remind people that although tragic events are occurring we should fight back with kindness. Such a pleasure, and will continue to read more of your posts!

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