We all want to be safe, whether it means safe in our lover’s arms, a good environment, physical safety or financial stability; safety is the threshold we never want to tip. Even in Psychological Science, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs places safety as only the second bar needing fulfilment after we’ve satisfied the basic needs of breathing and eating, for example. That should say something!
Safe is a word that is basically defined as being secure, at ease and not in danger. So how do we achieve a safe life in a world terrorized by uncertainty, violence, natural disasters and selfishness among other vices?
1. UNDERSTAND SAFETY
Safety – what a boring word. But in all actuality, it's one word that matters most whether we are conscious of it or not. There is a safety we want for our emotions, safety for our finances, families, business, automobiles and the list goes on and on. Safety is important on all levels.
Living a safe life does not mean doing nothing, hiding in a hole and waiting. Well hiding is something and waiting too… What I mean to say is living a safe life does not imply a life without risks, a life without challenges or a quiet serene life.
It is possible to live a safe life wherever you are in the world and until we begin to understand safety not as a duty but as consciousness, the security we can achieve in our lives may continue to evade us.
2. SET YOUR PRIORITIES
What do you want? What don’t you want? What are you doing to achieve that? Chasing a chicken and a duck at the same time will not get you either and in the end you’ll be hungry. Focus your energy on one certain goal, have back up if need be and a rebound in case things don’t go as planned. The rebound in most cases is the safety net that keeps you from hitting rock bottom.
3. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
Always wear your seatbelt! Do not leave your bag unattended! Do not live your children alone in the car! Do not drink and drive! Keep out of reach! All these are some examples of instructions. Life has so many rules that we bend, break or ignore completely. But to live a safe life, there are some rules you should never compromise – the rules that if not followed, put your life and that of others in danger.
4. GET INVOLVED
A safe world will not be created if you cower and hide. Get up and make a difference. No one will do it for you.
If you are in need of financial safety, work hard – legally. Taking an illegal route eliminates your chances of being safe almost immediately. If what you seek is comfort and stability in a relationship, understand your partner, fulfil their needs, seek counselling if things aren’t working out. Don’t stick to abusive relationships, an abuser is never a safe person to be with. If you want to be safe from accidents, see step 3. If your mind haunts you or you are suffering from trauma, seek a therapist who will understand your needs and work towards healing etc.
If a safer world is what you seek, work in security, join the army, help other people or help an organization grow. Not sure where to start, why not start by sending us your safety story?
5. TRUST YOUR GUT
Yes, that’s the inner voice in your head or the tumbling feel in your stomach as the case might be for others. It is better safe than sorry. It is always important to forgo the regret if we have to live a safe life. Regret has negative effects on the mental health and heart health as well so for your inner safety, it’s best to listen to your gut – the first time.
6. HELP YOU FIRST
It may sound selfish at first but if you have to help someone else, you may have to be in a better state than they in the first place. This statement can be excused in moments of emergency where another has more chances of surviving. But always remember, do for others as you would like to be done for you.
7. BE ALERT
Stay alert. Stay alert. Stay alert. This way you won’t miss the signs when you see something is going wrong. Sometimes awareness allows the feeling that something is going wrong but we ignore it and take the chance e.g your friend has been drinking heavily, you can’t drive so you still go in the car with him. The choice is irresponsible for your safety. To be safe, it is important to be alert and think quickly in any situation. Remember, Safety is not a duty but a consciousness.
8. LEARN TO SAY NO
If you don’t want to do something, say No! FIRMLY. There is no reason to jeopardize your emotional safety – in terms of anxiety, financial safety in other cases or physical safety if you can. If someone does not take no for an answer. Retreat slowly, run away if necessary. In terms of physical safety, apply self-defense tactics when necessary and don’t be afraid to scream.
If someone has the power to hurt you and you know they’d use that power, do not give your approval by saying Yes.
9. STAY CALM
Unexpected things in life happen and just when we least expect them, that’s what makes them unexpected right? It is hard to prepare for something that you didn’t plan – like the dancing economy, a brawl fight, an accident, a rude person, death, a tsunami or leaving your bag with important documents somewhere you don’t remember – don’t we all hate that!
Unexpected things happen but how we react to them can and sometimes does make the situation worse. When something bad happens, in all instances do one thing and one thing only – Stay Calm. Never panic! It makes your thinking irrational and in an emergency, you need to think rationally if you are to save anyone at all. So those Keep Calm posters do say something after all.
10. MAKE SAFETY A HABIT
We all want good things to happen to us and for those we love, but we ought to remember that some things ought to be worked for. For example, your doctor has warned you about your smoking, you don’t want to die of cancer and yet you keep smoking because it’s easier to. Or always driving without a seat belt because you can. Or skipping on your medication if you are not doing an overdose. Neglecting your health and the examples are endless. Safety has to be employed in our lives – by us, for us.
Mere wishes cannot eradicate an existing threat! We have to work towards safety and make it habit in order for it to become a reality for us, our loved ones and our planet.