I know many, many people who make "security"
their highest priority. In fact, as a culture we've
even made it one of our strongest cultural values.
Many people want to set up a life and lifestyle that will
be "perfect" for their kids--no changes of
schools, no moves, no changes of jobs--for their entire
childhoods. For the people who succeed in doing
this, their children often leave home to find life
overwhelming, for they find that the "security"
that their parents so carefully crafted for them truly is
a myth, and that the real world often demands us to make
changes quickly and forcefully, and not at all gently.
Some parents don't allow their kids to take chances, to do
many of the things that kids must do if they're to learn
many of the dynamics of real life. I know that in my
life, I've been blessed by having to take risks and make
changes regularly, and I'm fortunate that changes that
come about now are never overwhelming. I also had
the foresight of joining the military for a four-year
stint while I was younger, and that experience also has
helped me to keep in mind that there really is no
security, and that life will throw changes my way.
What's important is how I react to those changes.
I remember being told over and over again at one
particular job that with my degrees and experience and the
amount of work I was doing, there was no way that I would
be let go. I always reminded people that those exact
factors were what made me more expensive than a teacher
straight out of college--and I was among the first let go
so that the school could hire teachers who would cost the
district less money.
We've seen how the lack of economic security plays out in
the last decade or so. How many people lost their
jobs and had to re-establish or re-define
themselves? The security that they thought was there
didn't abandon them--it simply wasn't there to begin with.
Acknowledging a lack of security isn't fatalism or
pessimism--it's a realistic way of looking at the world
that keeps us aware that things can change very, very
quickly in many areas of our lives, and that perspective
can help us to function well in situations that otherwise
might overwhelm us.