Early Writings of Evan Bailyn

Our Quest For Security

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 comments

Security is the unacknowledged object of all of life’s journeys.  Most of us are born with it, owing to the fact that our parents bring us up and care for us; but slowly, at distinct points in our adolescence, that security gets chipped away.  The first time we realize that we cannot depend on our parents for money, protection, or encouragement, we lose a piece of our security, and each successive time, we lose a little bit more.  Finally, we are forced to fill in the gaps by seeking out our own sources of security.  Finding a job, making new friends, and seeking a life partner are quests that we commonly pursue, and all for the single purpose of reassembling the security that once was ours.

It is widely believed that branching out and making your own life apart from the one facilitated by your parents is a necessity. Indeed, it seems as if nature points us in that direction by giving us sexual urges, allowing our protectors to weaken and die, and otherwise propelling us into a competitive world that we must largely explore on our own.  However, we are ill-prepared for this exposure, this vulnerability, and therein lies our fundamental human crisis: that we must make the choice of how to once again achieve a feeling of security. Whereas animals are cast out into the wild, in our society, we are faced with the temptation of returning to our oldest sanctuary, our home. We are comforted with illusions and memories of old times – a magical emotion unique to humans known as nostalgia.

Our other option, of course, is to create a new security based on other people and ourselves. As comparatively difficult as that task is, most of us are eventually forced to pursue it.  Nature lends us some survival skills towards that end, though usually only after adolescence has taken its toll, and all but broken down our former sense of security.  Around that time, a parental instinct arrives, bestowing upon us the desire to create security for the people we have brought into our spheres, and ultimately, our own children. Years later, in a show of what we have ultimately accomplished, we are even called upon to take care of our parents.
The cycle of security may seem natural, but it is fraught with friction and abrupt transitions.  Perhaps if our society weren’t so highly organized and ordered by social conventions, these changes would be smoother – but as things are, we have no choice but to confront the host of challenges that reconfigure and reconfirm our security. Here are the ones I’ve experienced:

  • When we first go to school, we are exposed to new social rules, introduced by our teachers and our peers. We make the choice to assimilate some of these rules and balance them with the ones we know from home. Yet these other rules cause internal conflict, for they don’t always agree with what our parents have told us.
  • When we graduate high school and go away to college, we obtain a new sense of independence, as not even our parents’ broadest protective efforts can affect us any longer. We are met not just with alternate rules, but alternate ways of being, and must reassess our identity completely.
  • When we leave school and decide upon a career, we must contend with earning our own money, assuming a life purpose, and living up to the expectations we have bandied about since we were kids. These prospects shake the very foundation on which we have always tread, in which our parents support us, our identities are changeable, and we talk dreamily about what we want to be when we grow up.
  • When we begin looking for a life partner, we prepare to forego the independence we gained when we left our homes in favor of a constant companion, someone with whom we will be sharing our experiences and ultimately building a family. We let go of the last wisps of our old security, of our parents’ protection, as we prepare to take care of our spouse and children. The security with which we have fortified ourselves in the last decade will now be invested in other people.

Those are the only challenges I’ve touched upon, and therefore the ones about which I can comment. Yet I can imagine the others: having your first child and learning to generate your own brand of security and love is a great challenge, as well as situating yourself for a comfortable retirement.

Once the gift of security is given at birth, its energy compels and controls us through life, dominating our minds and directing our lives. It is what makes adolescence the most unforgettable – and difficult- time of our lives.

Evan Bailyn is a serial entrepreneur, search engine and social media expert, celebrated author and child advocate. His company, First Page Sage, is a leader in search engine optimization and social media marketing - vastly increasing business for its clients through high SEO rankings, targeted Facebook advertising and viral videos. Evan is also the founder of the Evan Bailyn Foundation, a foundation dedicated to teaching emotional awareness to children and adults. 

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