Crafting a better world starts with satisfying human needs—not necessarily everything we want—but what we truly need. Abraham Maslow stated that after meeting the basic biological needs of food, clothing, shelter, air, water, and rest, we must turn our attention to safety.
Whether it is the cave dweller avoiding being eaten, children avoiding abusive parents, or women avoiding sexual assault—safety first becomes the issue. So how do we protect ourselves?
For some, the solution to safety is to “out arsenal’ everyone else. The theory is if we have the strongest military with the best weapons, then others will not attack us. So, if it works for nations, then it should work for individuals. (Of course, it doesn’t actually work for our nation—but let’s not allow facts to impact our delusion).
So, some people believe the solution to gun violence is more guns. I will admit, there are responsible gun owners. There are also a lot of irresponsible ones. When someone walks into a restaurant and sees a customer with a gun but not in a uniform, how do they determine which kind of gun owner he or she is?
When we are safe, we possess a feeling of well-being that allows us to focus on our personal needs or even the needs of others. Our sense of security is affected by the emotional climate around us. Our current climate is moving toward less safety for the young, old, female, poor, gay, immigrant, unhealthy, people of color and developmentally challenged to name only a few. On the other hand, racism, sexual abuse, and bullying seem to be more protected now than at any time in the last 50 years.
Can we produce a safer environment? Yes! We must. There are no simple answers but here are a few places to start.
We teach our children about “stranger danger;” adults must learn about “surrounding awareness.”
We must listen to our colleagues, neighbors, children, and teachers when they talk about hostile or unsafe environments.
We also need to make it clear that we will not be judging or blame the victim when they tell us of threat, abuse, or bullying.
Remember anyone being at risk, puts me at risk.
We must change the national conversation to focus on dignity and responsibility rather than rights and privileges.
The picture of the future portrayed in The Doorkeeper’s Secrets people wear “smart garments” that can only be removed by the owner, are bulletproof, fireproof, and puncture proof.
Those are a few of my ideas how do you think we can create a safer society? I would love to read your thoughts and comments. Next time we will talk about the need for Belonging (the third of Maslow’s five-level Hierarchy of Need).