Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Safe Place Edition

Dear Reader...

It's been one rejection, one home office reclamation and a week since my last confession.

This morning I stopped for a Diet Coke in route to work and when I cam back into the parking lot and entered my car I looked up and saw the Safe Place sign. I confess I don't know if these exist in other metropolitan areas but here certain public establishments are designated as such primarily for that children facing eminent harm within the community have a very public place to retreat to for safety. The idea is marvelous but that's not my point here.

I confess that as I looked at this sign it caused me to consider the reason we even need a safe places. The sad fact of the matter is that society is so saturated with things that pose significant threats to the safety of everyone.

For instance, many times I see people who are so short on patience with others in stores, while driving, at sporting events, there is a degree of hostility that is so potentially volatile that these very public places seem to breed unhealthy conduct between persons who often have little or no connection in life but decide to spew forth impatience that sparks rudeness and sooner or later people are in each others faces, flipping each other off, and now with most states having concealed carry somebody draws a gun.

Guns seem to be everywhere these days. Children get access to guns at home and tote them to school and the next thing you know we are reading in the paper that three-four or  maybe a dozen or more are dead in some school.

I confess that this sign this morning really brought to mind how many places that are not safe.  We hear of gunmen in Offices, Malls, Theaters and this says nothing of domestic violence in our homes where the perpetrator and the victim actually know each other.

I confess I think of places like Syria and Afghanistan and wonder what they would think about safe zones or houses that people could flea to to safety. Wouldn't they all be there? We aren't a nation at war with an occupying army... or are we? Have we become our own enemy?

What is safe? Where is it? I confess this is becoming  unclear. We are a terribly polarized nation. For a country that is supposed to be a shining example of freedom, so many are ready to tell everyone else what is right and what is wrong. Who we can marry, who we can worship, what personal health care their employees should have. Where we have to pray.

I confess that I have no answer to the question, how do we become a caring and unified nation again? Maybe we never were. Perhaps this nation was all smoke and mirrors. But I do know that it is too easy for people to get their hands on firearms.

I confess that next week I will still likely be wondering about the irony of an America that needs to designate safe places for children to run to. And where do the victim of domestic violence go, where to the children trapped in a room with a gunman go, or a Shopping Mall or a late night movie at a theater?

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