Isn’t It Dangerous? From The EFL Blogosphere

I recently encountered an interesting blog post, which came out of the experience of a teacher in Japan whose students asked him “Isn’t the US dangerous?” after the Virgina Tech shooting. I think his main point is that there are many ways of judging what is safe and dangerous, and a question about “danger in general” is not very useful in itself.

Danger or safety is often related not only to chance – whether you happen to be in the wrong place – but “who” you are. I lived in a neighborhood in Chicago in which gang activity was not unknown, yet I never had any direct issues or problems with it. A co-worker, however, told me he that people would approach him if he walked down the street there, expecting him to be have some association which he didn’t. I think my experience in that case is an example of this phenomena (not connected to gangs of course but to people’s perception of “who you are”).

Certainly there is something to be said for numbers and statistics; if there is a high crime rate it makes sense that you may face more danger because of it.

And I supposed foreigners visiting Japan worry less about the suicide rate affecting them than foreigners visiting the US worry about crime affecting them, and quite appropriately so; there are certainly major differences. I’m not going to put myself in the corner of asserting that the certain countries are safe and others are dangerous though – because that’s exactly the point – it’s not that simple. And I think this point can be applied to a number of different contexts regarding safety.