How safe is safe?

How safe is safe?  I mean people are always talking about their safety. You can’t do anything these days without hearing the phrase. The players at the US open tennis  tournament were worried about their safety because it was raining & the surface was slippery. From the beginning of time the human  race has not worried in the slightest about its safety. Men have done & still do crazy amazing things without worrying about their safety.

But what should we abandon on behalf of safety. We should let go to create art, to bring about peace, to save others.

There are numerous occasions when safety is not the predominant consideration. It must be said that in war, for example, people do extraordinary things.

Mothers have been known to pick up cars when their young children have fallen underneath cars. People do all sorts of things in emergencies.  It is said you can move mountains.

People can do all sorts of things. When the blast of war, as it were, goes through them, they can do anything.

Myself I am I think quite a cautious person. Others may disagree. I stand well back on tube stations just in case some madman takes into his head to push me. I live in a one room just in case my money runs out. I am generally careful crossing the road (not always – sometimes I just get too impatient with waiting forever)

I cycle through London, amongst all the traffic. Not so much these days. I just don’t.

But when I do, sometimes it is quite dangerous. There are some mad drivers out there who do some extremely illegal things without any thought for others. Cycling between traffic, which is sometimes necessary is, I suppose, quite dangerous. But of all the hundreds of hours I have spent cycling through traffic, I have had relatively few mishaps of any description.

I used to be a volunteer at a charity which helped homeless people in various ways. We used to go down the winch which was used to take food down to the kitchen.  I stopped going when my father died.  But when my mother died 5 year later I started going again. Then for health & safety reason, we weren’t able to use it. Nobody had ever, to my knowledge ever had an accident going up or going down.

In fact schools are inventing risk for young people.

It is so hard to know where safety ends & risk begins. In war, in a natural catastrophe bodies pile up, misery upon misery. But also there are heroic acts, saving lives. In war it in fact becomes ok to kill people. Don’t ask me how this squares with normal standard outside of war. But that is how the world works. Normal standards of morality don’t seem to apply.

I was a bicycle dispatch rider in the eighties. I risked my life many times I suppose. I certainly had few prangs, many near escapes. It is all the making of a man. Lawrie Taylor on Thinking Allowed a year or two that dispatch riders regarded injuries incurred in the course of their, accidents with motorised vehicles that as a badge of honour. Which of course is nonsense & an insult but one he (and Others I suppose) wanted to believe.

Cycling can be quite dangerous. There are some mad drivers out there who do some extremely illegal things without any thought for others. Cycling between the traffic can be quite dangerous. But of all the hundreds of hours I have spent cycling through traffic, I have had relatively few mishaps of any description

A chronicler during the time of the Roman occupation of these islands opined that what the country needed was a good war. Risk, the great adrenalin bringer. People jump odd buildings for their shot of adrenalin. They swim the English Channel. I cycled through the streets of London for several years, taking (probably) undue risk.

There is too much mindless violence. Riots & so on. It is violence which achieves nothing good. Violence begets violence. There is no end to it, There is no end to the what is called the vicious circle.

So how safe is safe? Do we get unnecessarily upset by the death of this person or that. After all, we all die in the end. The human race goes on anyway. Life & death etc. One of the raison d’être of the human race claiming to be superior to other living creatures is that we are aware that we will die in the end & other animals don’t realise this. But how can we know this is true? We can’t. The human race falls between anthropomorphising animals & totally discounting their intelligence.

Most risk is not risk at all. If we worried about risk all the time, we would never cross the road. In fact we wouldn’t step outside the front door for fear of being attacked. Health & safety? Question it. Sometimes ignore it. Don’t become slave to it.

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