Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Safe Zone

"Before I die, I want to be somebody's favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe.  I will keep it safe." -Andrea Gibson

When I worked at the University, we had a program called Safe Zone.   In order to be a part of it, you attended a training session which basically instructed administrators at the college to do no harm.  To really listen to students without well-meaning advice, to keep their confidences, and to help them find their own best answers.  Once you graduated from the training, you got a bright green sticker to post on your office door that said, "Safe Zone."  This sign was to let students know that you were someone they could trust, someone they could talk to.

If only it were that easy....

After the Sandy Hook tragedy recently, I just wanted to pull my kids out of their schools and huddle in my bed, holding each of them tight for the rest of their lives.  There are no truly safe zones.  I cannot take some training and promise anyone (not even the people I love most on the earth) that they will always be safe.   I cannot promise I will protect them from the gruesome, senseless tragedies of a mad gunmen on the loose.   But, I also cannot promise them I can protect them from myself.  The world will hurt and disappoint them, and so will I.

But, still I have to try.  And so do you.  You don't know when someone  will need you to be their safe zone, but they will.  And you don't know who, or how, or when you'll stumble upon the safe zone you've been searching for - but, you will. 

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