Your Safety is a Lie

Mental safe-spaces are destroying our greatest human distinction: the freedom of thought and speech.

Christian Ashliman
Jul 8 · 4 min read
Photo by NOTAVANDAL on Unsplash

I’m getting so sick of seeing the word safe plastered on every billboard, every press release, every news program — all in the name of a pseudo-virtue that’s not only fake, but invasively damaging to the psyche. Safety comes first! Safety is our top priority! Safety is paramount to our functioning!

I’m not addressing the physical safety presentations they give on flights prior to climbing 30,000 feet up in the air, or the display of how your lock-bar operates on a ride at Disneyland. That is entirely a different brand of safety all together. I’m pointing my precarious finger at the safety we see filling the mouths of politicians, officials, advertisements, and arguments around the globe. It’s a hot-button word, a quick little four letters that lets everyone know you’ve got their best interest at heart. Or so we all think.

There are few words that concede to the human spirit more than the word safe. It’s such an inner compromise — to be filled with all the conjecture on following your dreams, taking calculated risks, racing past the rest of the pack, making something real and substantial with your life — only to be told that the number one concern we have is to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe.

Safety is a venomous snakebite, fanged into our soft skin, filling our veins with the greatest lie of all. It’s always been this way — the rise of enslaved kingdoms, the murderous tide of communism, the desecration of freedom in speech and thought — all stemmed from allowing our human instinct toward physical safety to seep deep into our minds, convincing us that not only do we demand corporeal safety, but we need to be mentally safe, too.

Mental safety — the true prison of humanity. Look, I enjoy being safe too. It is so far engrained in our DNA to strive for a safe environment, you can trace it back to the earliest glimmers of life. We’ve always been in a struggle against mother nature, against the lions, tigers, and bears. Oh, my! We’ve been beaten, brutally mutilated, torn to shreds, and left for dead more times than our ancestors care to relive. We’ve learned a lot from those scenarios, and we’ve done what humans do best — adapt.

We’ve gotten to a glorious point where we no longer have to concern ourselves with fundamental physical safety, in an overtly conscious way at least. We are so damn good at surviving. There are endless years of our history to prove it — reading black pixels on the technological miracle that is your phone is evidence enough. But our wires are getting crossed, sparking a new mental slumber that’s way too accessible — an addictive drug for the thoughtless.

We are the stewards of our own minds. We are the parents of the future of thought and speech. Yet we are treating our children like oediple little babies, protected from the hardships of the world, stuffed so deep into the mother’s womb, the ultimate safe-space. It’s so warm and cozy down there, you won’t find a human soul who doesn’t desire that mental sanctuary. Warm and cozy, just like being buried six feet underground, surround by snug mud and blanket-bugs encapsulating your skeleton-skull.

Life isn’t worth living if you can’t say what you think. It’s not worth playing the game if you can’t examine out loud or on paper the pound of flesh that rests in your head. You deserve it. You are owed it. Every other ghostly ancestor that’s walked the plains before you died for it. You don’t need to agree with the content, no one is making you sign the dotted line in union.

No one ever got anything of substance done while bathing in mental safety. If you want to halt the growth of the individual, stymie the progress of a nation — you strip them of their ability to think by convincing them that your actions are in the name of safety. I’m tired of being safe, I’m done with the boring facade of living a life in the mother’s womb. The world is dangerous, it’s bloody, it’s a ripe-ole-bastard shouting obscene remarks, its cliff-riddled, vine-covered, thorn-ripping beautiful. It’s not Disneyland, it’s not a dead-filled casket entombed safely underground.

It will not change systemically, while individually we hide under fuzzy-fleece blankets begging to drown in infinite mental safe-spaces. It starts with you and ends with you, and daring to change any of that is anything but safe.

Audio-article and short analysis.

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Christian Ashliman

Written by

Writer, thinker, and observer of the human circumstance. Bachelors degree in Psychology. Obsessed with satirical metaphors.

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.