Safety

By Andrew R. Duckworth

Photo and editing by Andrew R. Duckworth
Benjamin Franklin, I believe it was,
Once said that if you sacrifice freedom
For safety, you don’t deserve either.
Guess a nice ‘progressive’ country
Has no need of old mottos.
Done away with the ways of old.
New.
The new.
That’s what we’re always after, the new.
We have mistaken ‘progress’ for ‘new.’
But the two do not necessarily equate.
Sometimes, progress means looking
At things that worked.
Work-E-D,
Past tense.

But we wanted security.
We did not want to be safe,
We wanted to feel safe.
We walked into the lions den
With a steak in our hand,
Thinking it would be enough.
New.

And the more we ‘progress,’
The more we propose
Adding new walls to our prison.
New.
First it was bars.
We needed those bars to stay safe.
Then it was brick.
Those bricks would make sure
Those bars stayed in place.
Then it was fences.
Needed to make sure the bricks
Were not chipped away
By some unseen enemy,
The boogeyman you don’t know.
And it’s what you don’t know
That scares the most.

New legislation-
To ban that thing we don’t like,
To ban others from that thing,
To keep that thing we like safe
From those we don’t like.
New bars to the prison,
But only for some,
Only for those we don’t like.
New… for us.

So much for ‘progress.’
It’s an empty word now.
Our cup is almost empty.
‘Half Full’ is too optimistic.
Drank dry by the want of ‘safety.’
I hope freedom tasted sweet,
But when it’s gone, it’s gone,
And all because we wanted to FEEL safe.

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