Christian Long

Eve Ensler: Security & Insecurity

In TED Talks on April 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

Reflection by DEREK M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Eve Ensler:  Security & Insecurity

Security and Insecurity by Even Ensler is a TED Talk with a question on the security of our lives.

How does security affect the average person? It seems to me that the feeling of security makes us practice less caution in our lives. When we lose the ability to be cautious, we are setting ourselves up for surprises. Sometimes, the surprises are beneficial and other times not so much. From finding a new job by accident to getting in a car accident, security affects our thinking. It affects our humanity. It changes the way we think.

What can we do? Focus more on our day to day lives, allowing our gut instinct to tell us what to do. We need to stop focusing on feeling secure and explore the world. Security is superficial. Security should not affect how we do things. From the social security number to security checks, security is everywhere. Now, it is our job to maintain a secure environment while allowing risks to be taken. Without risks, extraordinary does not exist.

“And why have we as Americans particularly, become a nation that strives for security above all else?”

America is nation of a different mindset. We like to feel protected. We like to feel secure. All of the governmental programs that ‘protect us’ actually bind us. We forget to feel insecure and then when bad things happen, we are more taken aback by the consequences because it ‘came out of nowhere.’ America focuses on maintaining peace with stability and without change. Change is too radical for us. Americans like to live our day to day lives without interruption. We live life in a secure rhythm and when that rhythm changes, we react adversely. Much of the rest of the world is under the mindset to ‘live and let live’. America, however, is under the time constraints, the stress of a career, of raising children, of going to soccer practices, to getting enough sleep to manage the next day. The rest of the world is lax and laugh at our inefficiency. America is inefficient because we become placated with our lives too easily. We strive for security because we do not have the time or the energy to pursue or even deal with the feeling of insecurity. We want to be secure to leave one more thing off of our daily ‘to do’ list. Feeling secure allows us to focus on the task at hand. Focus is important, but the ability to second guess something, to feel insecure, is too much for the average American to worry about.

“We all die. We all get old. We all get sick. People leave us.”

Security, in its simplest form, is impossible.

Americans consistently live life, trying to forget the bad things that happen on a daily basis. If we recognized the fact that everyone dies, everyone gets old, and that people constantly leave us, we would be able to achieve greater things. If we lived our lives with a small sense of insecurity, productivity would increase, people would become happier, and ultimately, secure people achieve a peace of mind to enhance their creative capacity. Insecure people are always fighting; striving for a sense of security. It is this motivation fueling insecurity that makes people more productive and more influential, while also giving them the ability to be truly secure, not just superficially secure.

Even Ensler provides a look into the lives of the rest of the world with her organization while also providing some great examples of security and insecurity in daily life.

Security on the surface is not what it seems. Security can never be achieved. Security makes people oblivious to the bus that is coming straight for their car or to the intern that is quietly climbing up the corporate ladder striving to take your position. Security only gives people a peace of mind that does not exist. It makes people lose focus, lose creative capacity, and their will to be beneficial to society.

“You know, I think Carl Jung once said that in order to survive the 20th century, we have to live with two existing, opposite thoughts, at the same time. And I think part of what I’m learning in this process, is that one must allow oneself to feel grief…When I start to pretend that what I’m seeing isn’t impacting me, and isn’t changing my heart, then I get in trouble because when you spend a lot of time going from place to place, country to country, and city to city,… you have to take the time…to process that.”

If you were interested in this video, you might want to look at the following, rather passionate video:  Samantha Power:  A Complicated Hero

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