Friday, 18 September 2015
We want to feel safe. We want to know that whatever life throws at us, whatever misfortunes we run into, we'll survive the challenges and our lives won't be ruined or ripped apart.
We seek dependable partners, we accumulate money, we buy houses, we surround ourselves with friends, we live somewhere peaceful and civilised, we look for secure long-term jobs, we avoid people we find difficult or disturbing.
At the same time though, we constantly do things that threaten our safety, put our lives at risk, and jeopardise everything we hold dear. There's a part of us that chafes at the endless safety-first approach and yearns for a bit of adventure and excitement and throwing all caution to the winds.
So we find ourselves getting hopelessly drunk, driving at crazy speeds (or both), chain smoking, jaywalking, getting into fights (well, the guys anyway), climbing wobbly ladders, not to mention bungee-jumping, sky-diving, rock-climbing and snorkelling.
I freely admit to driving too fast (on occasion), to jaywalking, to climbing wobbly ladders. And a few other reckless habits. I mean, they're not really THAT dangerous. I haven't come a cropper yet, have I? So there you are then. No need to worry.
Of course the other paradox is that it's often the thrill-seekers, the ones forever putting themselves in danger, who live to tell the tale, while Cautious Clara is unlucky enough to kill herself in a freak accident involving a faulty safety harness.
We all want to be safe. Except when we don't.