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Safety Takes on A New Moral Meaning

Jul 17, 2008
A good deal of safety, for both kids and adults, stems from the fact that you project self-confidence. Many victims, whether being one from a bully at school, the office intimidator or the mugger, project weakness in their personas. Having low self-esteem does not necessarily mean you will be a victim, but it definitely stacks the odds in your favor that you could unwittingly be setting yourself up as one.

There has always been conjecture that confident kids and adults are naturally less of a target for predators. Many psychologists and law enforcement professionals have advocated this idea for years. Predators are those individuals that look for people to prey upon for a variety of reasons. Now, it seems that there is real evidence this is true.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, former West Point psychology professor, has a "wolf, sheep and sheepdog" theory that relates directly to predators, victims and protectors. The wolves, the predators that prey on us and our children, are despicable. There is nothing morally superior in them. Most of us are sheep, content to live our lives knowing others are protecting us. The sheepdogs, are the bastions of safety. They live for the opportunity to be called to duty to protect the innocent.

While it's an odd analogy for a career military man, its beauty is in the simplicity of the concept and its explanation. It can simply and easily be applied and understood by everyone. We can apply it to teaching kids about child safety.

There is nothing morally superior about sheepdogs, only the fact that this is how they are and what their focus is. In safety, we add to the skill set of the sheepdogs. We hope we can get a few sheep to understand that armed with our safety techniques, they can become sheepdogs. Grossman goes on to explain that wolves, sheep and sheepdogs are born that way. They are what they are and can't help it. We, as human beings can be born a certain way but have the ability to make choices for ourselves.

Making good moral choices, like choosing to be a sheepdog and learning those characteristics of protection and responsibility for community and others, is what safety is all about at the end of the day. It's what we set up as the end-all goal in teaching kids safety for a lifetime.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert, #1 international bestselling author, speaker, consultant and trainer. For her extensive website and information see Keeping Kids Safe
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