Bars On Windows

When I first moved to LA and started looking for an apartment, I noticed that some parts of the city had buildings with bars on the windows. I’ve never seen that before. At first, I thought it was a decorative quirk of the older, tiny, Spanish style houses I was drawn to, but I was told that if bars were on the windows, it meant the area wasn’t safe.
 
That struck me as odd because although the neighbourhoods where I saw a lot of those buildings could be described as “working-class”, they seemed busy and vibrant, or in transition. Besides many of the homes in Beverly Hills had huge walls around them and even in the canyons, where homes are secreted in the nooks and crannies at the end of long, winding roads, they are often set behind slithering gates built like fortresses around them. Surely those parts of the city were safe?
 
Blame it on our hunter and gatherer ancestors but one of our core human values is safety. Looking up the meaning of that word in the dictionary is not very satisfying but it’s “safe” to say that the concept relates to the fact that every single human being wants shelter, well-being and protection for themselves, their friends and their children, for the people they love.
 
The big thing about the concept of safety though is that it’s intangible. It’s a feeling and what it means to be safe, what we need to feel safe, is different for each of us. Just like we each have different comfort levels with risk, different ideas of what it means to be home. The differences though, don't make the feelings any less meaningful or less valuable. 

Home. Safety. Love. These concepts belong to every single human being on this planet. They have the power to unite us, instead of divide us.
 
Whether you have bars on your windows or live behind a sleek, electronic fence, whether it’s having a fridge full of groceries or a million dollars in the bank, you can never feel safe if the idea of your safety lives outside of you, because feeling safe, is an inside job.

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