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  • ... the most important thing in life, without exception, is to step out of the magic circles of safety we create for ourselves. Tapping the same lever to get the same pellet day after day, safe as it is, is for the birds; security isn't the best thing life has to offer and habit dulls both desire and imagination.

  • Insecure people have a special sensitivity for anything that finally confirms their own low opinion of themselves.

  • ... the richness of living caught at her throat, and all the well-meant security with which people surrounded themselves was exposed for what it truly was: a wall to keep out life, a conceit, a mad delusion.

  • ... only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.

  • ... too much safety is abhorrent to the nature of a human being.

  • Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: / Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

  • Set the foot down with distrust upon the crust of the world — it is thin.

  • The impulse to make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free is an old one ... When we are badly frightened, we think we can make ourselves safer by sacrificing some of our liberties. We did it during the McCarthy era out of fear of communism. Less liberty is regularly proposed as a solution to crime, to pornography, to illegal immigration, to abortion, to all kinds of threats.

  • The human soul has need of security and also of risk. The fear of violence or of hunger or of any other extreme evil is a sickness of the soul. The boredom produced by a complete absence of risk is also a sickness of the soul.

  • To multiply the harbors does not reduce the sea.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1870, in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 ()
  • The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain ... until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

    • Jane Addams,
    • in James W. Linn, Jane Addams: A Biography ()
  • It is almost a guarantee that in the pursuit of security you will become more insecure. Inherent in the quest for security is its undoing.

  • I am worried about this word, this notion — security. I see this word, hear this word, feel this word everywhere. Security check. Security watch. Security clearance. Why has all this focus on security made me feel so much more insecure? ... Why are we suddenly a nation and a people who strive for security above all else?

  • Security isn't a thing you get and hold onto. You have to let it go and earn it again, over and over.

  • Our security must be threatened in order for us to appreciate it.

  • When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life.

  • Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life.

  • You are destined to fly, but that cocoon has to go.

  • She had large, rather beautiful hazel eyes which she blinked rapidly from time to time. This habit gave her a timorous yet slightly defiant demeanour: the sort of girl who made a career out of being insecure.

  • If we are waiting for guaranteed courses of action, we may spend much of our life waiting.

  • Our whole way of life today is dedicated to the removal of risk. Cradle to grave we are supported, insulated, and isolated from the risks of life — and if we fall, our government stands ready with bandaids of every size ...

  • I have six locks on my door. They are all in a row. But when I go out I only lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there and picks the locks, they are always locking three.

  • You cannot barter security for freedom, or freedom for security.

  • The key to security is public information.

  • That tide of insecurity would come in and out over the years, sometimes stranding me for a while but occasionally lifting me just beyond what I thought I could acomplish. Either way, it would wash over the same bedrock certainty: ultimately, I know myself.

  • True security is not a commodity to be bought or won in the future. It is a present state of mind, a satisfaction in being who you are, where you are and with whom you are, even if you are alone. Perhaps especially when you are alone.

  • When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

  • To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.

  • There is nothing so risky as security.

  • Insecure people are dangerous and it is best to stay away from them. Especially now, when there are so many of them, only a misanthrope can avoid being exsanguinated by their emotional demands.