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Who are the most dangerous people?

The most dangerous people in the world are the ones who want to keep you safe (including yourself) 

Let me explain. 

I am the first to admit that we need safety and we need protectors and defenders. 

  • I'm glad my mother always told me, "Before crossing the road, check for cars coming from both directions." 

  • I'm glad  that, if someone refuses to leave my home when I ask them to, then I have the option of calling the police for assistance.

  • I'm glad that courts are available to adjudicate disputes that might otherwise end in fisticuffs. 

  • I'm glad that schools take protective actions to limit bullying. 

  • I'm glad that my apartment-door lock helps ensure against burglary or other unwanted intrusions.

  • I'm glad that my bank does what it can (with passwords, etc.) to ensure that my money is not stolen.

Yet, in our desire for safety (and feeling safe), we often succumb to defensiveness, over protectiveness, and/or asking others (for example, those in governments) to protect us in ways that create more danger, both for ourselves and others.

And, in the name of this defense and safety, we easily become blind to or uninterested in all the unintended consequences and collateral damage caused by our defense and protectiveness.


Examples pervade all areas of our lives:

  • Consider your own defensiveness. When you feel criticized, attacked, or blamed by another, is your response curiosity...or do you get defensive or do you withdraw? Curiosity (and no defense) is likely to be much less damaging, much less dangerous to you and your relationship with this other person than is your defensiveness and protectiveness. Your defensive behavior makes you a dangerous person (both to yourself and to the other person).

  • Consider the over protective parent (who usually doesn't think they are over protective) whose actions inhibit the development of a natural self-confidence in their children by protecting them from making their own mistakes and accepting the consequences of those mistakes. How many free-range kids do we have now-a-days, especially in the more well-do-do countries? Over protective parents become dangerous to the self-confident development of their children.

  • How many of us enter into our marriage without reassuring both ourselves and our partner "until death do we part" and "we'll stay together no matter what"? By indulging in this foolish expectation of safety and permanence (and encouraging our partner to do the same), not only have we created an environment where we are more likely to take each other for granted (thereby damaging the quality of our relationship), but we are also more likely to end up tolerating an unhappy marriage, undermining the life-quality of all concerned. This protective behavior creates real danger for creating a happy married life (and a happy life).

  • How easily can you pick up the phone to connect with a friend or family member, to request a favor from a colleague, or to apply for a job? How easily can you hand out a flyer to all the passing pedestrians on the sidewalk, letting them know about the local festival you have organized? How easily can you walk up to a receptionist in a company, asking to see the boss for a few minutes about a job possibility, if you didn't first have an appointment? Depending upon the circumstances, you could be forgoing benefits both for yourself and others by not taking these actions. Yet, wanting to feel safe from "rejection" or safe from others feeling like you're bothering them, you are dangerous to having the best life possible for yourself and contributing more to the life of others.

All in the name of protection (and we care about you)

Who will protect us from our protectors? Governments, in their desire to protect themselves, their citizens, or some group of favored citizens, create immeasurable costs and damages caused by the wake their protective measures, be they the regulation of massage, the creation of government monopolies, the war on drugs, tariffs to "protect our own," or other actions to "protect and preserve our way of life." Every act of war or defense was made in the name protecting "our homeland and way of life." Hitler was the great protector.

Consider the costs of protection

Every act of protection incurs costs and risks, both short-term and long-term, for ourselves and for others. How careful are we to look for and examine those costs and risks before indulging in our protective actions? How dangerous is our protection, whether it's the protection we try to give ourselves or the protection we allow others to provide to us? Are we able to easily recognize when the costs are likely exceeding the benefits that we would have if we weren't "protected"?

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