A few days ago I wrote an article called the illusion of control. There was a lot of conversation amongst my friends regarding that article. For some, it jarred them as they had never really thought about it. For others, it made them defensive as perhaps they imaginedthey had control and realized they did not. For me it made me go into observation mode and listen. I began to recall adminitions my parents often gave me as a child “Be good, be sweet, behave yourself, stay safe, be careful, and always look behind you were just a few mantras that were given to me every time we would part ways. As an adult, i am still hearing the same mantras.
In the “illusion of control”, I discussed those admonitions and the feeling that many of us have that they lead to a certain outcome. I am a world traveler and I enjoy heading to places where few people go. I enjoy climbing to the top of some mountains and have the love of adventure in my blood. I feel empathy for my elderly but vital parents as I know they will worry. They imagine me in harms way. They are more tired than me upon my return. They like all parents want to keep us safe. Before I head off, my mother adds a “please” to her admonition to be safe, “please be safe.” I know that having a discourse with her about safety being out of my control will do no good so I just assure her that i will do my best.
Most of us feel we are safe in our homes and in familiar surroundings. Travel brings uncertainty for many. I actually had a friend to instruct me to come off of the mountain if I felt danger was lurking. I merely looked at her for a moment wondering if she actually thought my brain cells were that small that I would not heed a warning of such incrdible magnitude. We can be safe. We can follow instructions, go slow, wear our seat belt, but misfortune still happens. As a lover of mountain terrain, I understand risk. I am aware that one misstep can have consequences, weather can either make or break a day. I know when to call it a day. I understand the consequences of what I do and the importance of taking precautions. We do the best we can and go out the door and let the world know we are here. To my friends, tell me to have the adventure of a lifetime, tell me to have a great trip, tell me to go get em, but for crying out loud, stop telling me to be safe.