Nearly every time one of my children leaves the house or we end a phone call, I nearly unthinkingly say ‘stay safe.’ It is heartfelt and sincere yet somewhat automatic.
As I watched the evening news there was a story about a couple who were stabbed on a trail that I sometimes walk along in the West Valley/Taylorsville area. Fortunately, their injuries weren’t too serious and as the trail is fairly public they were helped very quickly. I lived in the area for quite a while and although I don’t live there currently, most of my friends do. Often, news reports show violent crimes down the street from, or around the corner, or a block or two over, from friends’ homes or spots where I once lived.
It’s a fairly rare week that I don’t see at least one set of flashing police lights on what is obviously more than a traffic stop. Old friends from around the globe sometimes comment on how much I must enjoy living safety because I’m in Utah now. Quite frankly, I felt safer in Jerusalem, Cairo and London during very anti-American events. I had a greater sense of security in ‘Fayettenam’ (Fayetteville, NC – Army town outside of Fort Bragg) where violent crime was considered fairly rampant.
Am I scared? Not really. I often drive alone fairly late at night, I lock my car doors, keep my purse on the floor board or don’t carry one at all – just drivers license and maybe a few dollars in cash along with an ATM card in my pocket. My car is an old black compact sedan with the rear passenger and back windows tinted as dark as the law allows (a brother originally bought the car in 1993 back in Phoenix). I’ve been pulled over as a result of vehicular racial profiling more than once. Imagine the officers’ surprise when a short little redhead so white her skin is nearly transparent rolls down the window. I try to remain aware of my surroundings, particularly when I’m alone. If something doesn’t look, or feel, right then I’ll adjust my actions. Still, every now and again things happen. Those things aren’t the point of this posting though.
The point is – everyone stay safe. Be aware. Don’t assume safety is a ‘given’ and stay alert. Then again, if you live in fear, you can never be safe. Find that middle ground. Live your life. Just please be aware and be safe.
This is the end of your public service announcement/lecture.
Please resume your regularly scheduled lives. 😀