Legal Citizens Are Who You Should Worry About.....

Pray hard for my safety within these United States....MUCH harder than you pray for my safety in foreign nations.
Sitting on the Malecón's sea wall in Havana, Cuba. Photo Credit, J. Thurston

Sitting on the Malecón's sea wall in Havana, Cuba. Photo Credit, J. Thurston

In travel and its preparations, I’m often subjected to what I consider to be the “40/60 Well-Wish.” What is it, you ask. The “40/60 Well Wish”, simply, is 40% genuinely wishing safe travels while the remaining 60% is a projection of personal fears that are often unsubstantiated and irrational. “You’re REALLY going there? Wow! Don’t those people (insert exaggerated characteristic or custom of respective nation here)? Stay safe. I’ll be praying for your safety.” Listen, if you preface your “well-wish” with an ill-informed and/or fear riddled statement, you are a practitioner of the 40/60. That said, it becomes my instant hope, wish, and prayer that you find knowledge and understanding through the desperately needed exposures that will allow you to avoid misspeaking.....

Pray for my safety in a country where I ALWAYS feel compelled to find exit signs.....

I’ll admit that while I welcome prayers and genuine well wishes, it is often a struggle to refrain from retorting "Spare me” to 40/60s and concerns about my safety abroad. Don’t wish me well while I’m on the soils of foreign nations; Wish me well and pray for my safety here in the “great” United States where pipe bombs regularly explode and where it nearly seems legal to walk into America’s malls, schools, theatres, hotels, and office spaces with deadly intent. Pray for my safety in a country where I ALWAYS feel compelled to find exit signs, subsequently develop an escape route--in the event I need it--all before being seated in a restaurant, or ordering dinner, or watching pre-movie trailers.  Pray for my safety as I sit in Starbucks unsure of whether I should put my headphones in or forgo them as a safety precaution. I needed prayers and well wishes for my jogs on trails in Dallas through an affluent neighborhood where just two days prior a man was hacked to death in broad daylight in front of others who dared not intervene. Pray for my safety in America’s churches where gunmen join Bible studies in the Carolinas and enter sanctuaries in Texas to end the lives of people who are actively well-wishing and praying.

Given that I live in a nation that has far too many freedoms--freedoms that embolden nefarious individuals --why, again, are "we" concerned about travel advisories against foreign nations, “violent” immigrants from “shithole” countries, and the idea of "safety" when “we” can’t seem to get a handle on the rampant evils here at home that are often perpetrated by legal citizens? Pray hard for my safety within these United States….MUCH harder than you pray for my safety in foreign nations.  It’s not the immigrants, denizens in foreign nations, or international travel that alarms me. It’s America’s legal citizens that are the greatest cause for concern.

-Jasmine