The recent rise in traffic accidents has indisputably made itself felt during the past few months. The National Statistics Office recorded an increase of 10.8% in road accidents as of September 2016.
Does this mean that we should steer clear of the streets? Should we huddle in a corner of our home, scared of venturing out? Should we even refuse to board public transport or any vehicle being driven by a friend or relative? How about us as drivers? Should we just hand in our driving licence and forego driving altogether? Would it be acceptable to set tougher exams for those who wish to achieve their licence? What about the present state of roads and streets?
Shall we take our crime rate into account as well?
Aside from the local scene, danger seems to come at us on a more international level as well. Political and economic turmoil have led to a number of issues with possible reverberations throughout the globe. Apart from this, during the past few years, the percentage of terrorist attacks and unrest in the streets all over Europe has also increased dramatically. Some people have elected to chuck their passport at the bottom of a drawer and resign themselves to never travel outside of their own country again. Others read the news assiduously in order to try and find some pattern or conspiracy theory whereby certain countries are deemed 100% safe from such attacks, during certain months or periods of the year.
I personally refuse to be intimidated.
Yes, one must obviously take precautions, both in the streets and abroad. In fact, one must be careful not to squander away one’s life, or the life belonging to others, no matter what the context. Every child knows that, and it’s plain survival instinct. That doesn’t mean that we have to stop living. It certainly doesn’t mean that we have to construct a self-imposed cage for us to cower in, beset with fears of all types, instead of being free to live our lives as we choose.
Accidents can take place anywhere and at any time – in the home, while at school, at work, or on a bus. So can episodes of violence we have no control over, or even natural disasters. We could get sick, fall down the stairs, be the victim of an earthquake. Such is the frailty of human life, which, as we all know, is finite. Our days, in a word, are numbered, which is why it’s so important to enjoy and make the most of each and every one of them.
Being self-reliant is a blessing, however it’s true that, as the adage goes, no man is an island, even though they might live on the island of Malta. This means that willy nilly, at a certain point in life, we may need the help or services of someone else, and that therefore, we must be able to trust our fellow human beings. Yes, we could go through life distrusting everyone and living through an intangible haze of fear. We could relegate ourselves behind four secure walls or stockpile our car with pepper spray and legal weapons in case of robbery or assault.
We could, in other words, keep ourselves hostage.
Would it really be worth it? It’s one thing to be cautious, and quite another to let the fear of the unknown transform us into shivering pieces of fluff.
Of course there are bad people in this world, just as there is violence, and you can come across these issues everywhere. The point is not to transform terror into the focal point of your life. Don’t let anyone dictate how you should live, think or feel. Be independent, be self-assured, be happy and friendly with those you meet, travel the globe and enjoy yourself.
Life is not worth living in fear, enjoy it!