Be Safe

Be Safe

“Be safe”.

How many times do you hear this?

When you’re heading out for a weekend. Driving further than 50 miles. Going anywhere. Doing anything. Be Safe. Please. I beg of you!

When did Americans become such cowards?

When people hear I bike to work (with full lights and safety equipment along a route I carefully scouted) they become paralyzed with fear, equating what I am doing to riding a bike across Niagara falls on a cable. Trips abroad, the same thing. It’s always the cringing fear of terrorists, of criminals, of disease, of discomfort, of sadness, of disappointment, of riots, of floods, of fires, of the end of the word.

On one hand, people either crawl into their wide-screen bomb shelters, living their lives on a virtual Jersey Shore. Or they overcompensate and toy with death with skydiving, bull running, and various jackass stunts.

We were the people who few across the Atlantic, then on to the moon. We were the ones who brought freedom into the world and backed our beliefs in a bloody civil war. We were the people who formed lines around the block to sign up after Pearl Harbor, who stormed beaches, who overflew the Reich, who faced down the Russians over the shimmering warheads of nuclear missiles.

And now we rush around, buying guns, gold, security systems, putting chips in our kids and gates across the entrances of our neighborhoods.

Grow backbones, for fuck’s sake.