It was about 9:00 pm and the adult class I taught regularly was just over. As I picked up my materials, one of the participants asked me if I was driving home alone. He knew that I lived beyond the edge of town in the desert.
“Of course, what else?” I answered. And then came the lecture—about how dangerous it was, about how bad-intentioned people roam the dark roads, about how I could be pulled over and attacked, etc. etc.
I looked at him in shock. Was this supposed to help me? Well, in any case, I had no choice. There was no other way to get home and I told him so. He shook his head at what he surely thought was my foolhardiness.
On my way home, I did think about what he’d said. I realized that this was a bigger question than just a weekly drive. How did I want to live, seeing that I was single and responsible only for myself? Did I want calculated safety to drive all my decisions? So the next week, I shared my choice with him. “I live alone. I choose not to live in a vault.”
Today, the level of fear in our society has risen. I’m regretful about all the fear-mongering in the media. But the question remains for each of us: knowing that safety is hardly guaranteed, how do we want to live? Today, I still choose to let other qualities, other experiences and possibilities guide my decisions. I try not to be totally rash and yes, sometimes I get scared and am glad to close a familiar door behind me.
I know a few people who see the same conditions and do choose to live in a vault. They avoid anything they feel threatened by. Oh, their vault is usually well decorated, warm and cozy. It meets their need for “safety first.” But it’s still a vault and their life is much poorer than it could be.
Today, I know that there are no certainties in any case. Today I still choose not to live in a vault. I want all that life brings me, for beauty, for growth, for learning, even if it’s tough.
How about you? Do you choose to live in a vault?