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Trust and Safety: What does it even mean?

Joined: 10/9/2011
Posts: 1
It’d be so simple to say “yes ,I trust our institutions. I trust my parents. I trust my school. I trust the government. I trust ‘them’ whoever that may be”. But then again when is anything ever simple. What does trusting even mean? Is it following instructions, no questions asked? Or is it taking into account what we’re told and then making a decision for ourselves?

On September 11th, I was on my way to movement class when my mum showed up at school. I had watched my friends leave all morning. No one told us why. I just watched them leave, one by one, until it was my turn. The rest of the day I watched the worried looks on my parents faces and the way they avoided talking in front of us. I knew something was the matter, but it wasn’t until later that I understood why things had happened the way they did. I was too young to know. Everything that happened that day was beyond the grasp of a kindergartner. I had to believe what I was told and leave it at that. If my parents and teachers said everything was alright, then it was.

Ten years later I’m 16 and have heard the words “code red” and “terrorist threat” more times than i care to count. I’ve sat in a laundry room with 30 other people because of a tornado warning, and watched my mother open the mail outside because it just might contain anthrax. I’ve been patted down for forgetting to take a metal hair clip out of my pocket, and stayed inside for recess because of the sniper. But I’ve also watched my mum pack to go to Europe while the news reported about a car bomb in Scotland, and gone to my brother’s soccer match even though there was the potential of a terrorist attack. Maybe risking getting bombed by terrorists isn’t the smartest thing to do, but sitting at home hiding behind walls isn’t much better. After all, they are only bricks and plaster, not much good when a bomb hits. All things considered, short of leaving town there isn’t much that can be done. I’ve heard what everyone had to say and made my decision.

I’m not saying that I know all the answers, or that what I want to do, and what I should do are always the same. What I am saying is, that if I spent every minute of every day doing exactly what I’m told I wouldn’t go anywhere. I’d spend my life living in fear and never learning to make decisions for myself. If firefighters can run into burning buildings, and journalists can report from war zones, then I can take risks too. Just so long as they are calculated.
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