The pervasive pessimism of the new unsafe use of the phrase "Be safe"
Just My Take The Pervasive Pessimism of the New Unsafe Over Use of the Phrase “Be Safe” Cheryl L. McLean
Be Safe! This common salutation or caring sign off is now a part of the language. The be safe thing really came about during the panicked message laden two years of the Covid pandemic and like a virus has seemed to hang in the air infecting many interactions with its cautionary sentiment…Be Safe! …Hello Be Safe, Good-bye Be Safe, Bakin’ a cake? Be safe. Powerful words for a hyper vigilant worry obsessed world lacking confidence and faith. Safety is a big one in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs another reason why the word Safe has a particular motivational power related to survival. Of course that’s why it has stuck. But the pervasive pessimism of this now commonly used phrase and the way it keeps people feeling uncomfortable and in need of assurance and security is in fact the reason for the very unsafeness of the phrase itself. Couldn’t we choose the encouraging words “Be happy, Be strong” inferring that being in the world with joy and living vitally is better than just surviving it?
I want to suggest that when a human decides to DO something let’s say travel, for example, there is always the potential for some risk. The “unsafe” person steps away from the security of the home environment and in doing so there is the chance that something bad will happen. Well it could couldn’t it? No human being in motion is safe all the time and constant security is an illusion. Once off the couch or away from the kitchen you could get hit by a Fed X truck so my children be fearful go nowhere, hunker down, stay home. Be safe! This is not a personal criticism directed at those who might express their love through worrying about our safety and others who would sincerely wish us to be unharmed or always safe, to those who deeply care about our wellness and security. But is rather a reflection on the impact and power of words to create a state of dis/ease especially some of the seemingly helpful often used words today that have crept almost unnoticed into the general conversation, whether they are good for us or not, and how these words rather than being helpful can foster a general sense of societal neediness and mass vulnerability. Please, please, let’s drop that phrase “Be Safe”, the one that keeps people needy and sick and replace Be Safe with Be Alive! Let’s coin something else to affirm people. Pervasive pessimism isn’t safe. And I don’t ever want to be that. It’s very, very dangerous. Love life. Be alive. END.