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Staying safe in a chaotic, unsafe world
We live in a great nation, America, where peace and not war permeates in our midst. I grew up in Africa’s largest country where civil war, bloody coup d’état, and periodic martial laws were common to many of her inhabitants. The continent of Africa, and most of the other continents were, and still are, engulfed in endless wars, and periodic bloody battles that threaten the safety and security of many innocent lives.
America, with laws to abide by, and a robust police and military forces with authority and public accountability to guard the peace, is a breath of fresh air. What a blessing today , to many of us who immigrated to the USA from countries and cities plagued by periodic wars and unrest, to see friendly and smiling people (for the most part) walking, driving and working without the fear of being carjacked, hijacked, beaten, jailed, or shot for no reason but for having different political views, or religious beliefs.
Yet friend, even in our war-free nation, and generally safe college campuses there remains many things that can still threaten our peace, safety, and security. From human injustices, and vicious crimes in many of our city streets and cities, to tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, we’re often reminded that even in the absence of war in America, our peace of mind, safety and security can be still be elusive, threatened, and lost.
It’s no wonder, in a world where chaos can rule, and where our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being might be threatened or lost by man-made evil , or natural disasters, we all crave and are in a perpetual pursuit of rest and solace in safe and secure relationships. But sadly, many a relationship ends up being messy, unsafe, and an emotional war zone that rivals those of the streets of Damascus, Kabul, or Benghazi.
The casualties, and after math of such human relationships (including those in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood) that are ruled by injustice, discouragement, jealousy, anger, and lack of love is what you and I, and all of those in the medical and nursing professions, encounter daily. Friend, whether we give our time in a college dorm to those in need, lend a therapeutic listening ear to hurting classmate, or tender professional and administrative care with kindness, care, and compassion, we’re all equal partners in this endeavor. Young and old, ours is a higher call to listen, heal, and alleviate the pain and suffering of those whose bodies, minds, and spirits have been afflicted by life’s toxic and unsafe relationships.
There are no words that best exemplifies that inner thirst for safety in relationships than the tattooed words I’ve once read on the forearm of one of my young patients:
“In all this chaos we found safety,” written on one side, and the name of a best friend, whose relationship offered that deep soothing sense of safety, on the other side.
“Explain,” I asked.
“It’s about finding safety in something…in God…in friendship…in something, “my patient explained.
So friend, as we ponder on the effects of safe and unsafe relationships in our personal lives, and the lives of those entrusted to us, may we find strength, patience, words, and wisdom from above to be an oasis of equality, tenderness, forgiveness, and mercy to ourselves and to others. May we be non-judgmental, respectful, thankful, merciful, kind, and loving to all of those we encounter; ourselves included.
For it is only then, that you and I “in all the chaos” would be a haven of rest where comfort, safety, and safe relationships are found.
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Adel G Hanna, M.D,
Author: Soldier To Soldier Heart to Heart
A Doctor’s Stories from a Military Camp
Soldier to Soldier, Heart to Heart, Second Edition
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