While we mustn’t close our eyes to the great crises of our time, we still must look at what is probably the most important component of a fulfilled life: our security—health, social, and financial, a real challenge.
Determining our own point of view—for us, the standards of the Western world, beyond the well-being of a German citizen—should not lead us to develop anxiety toward virtual phenomena, or even fear of loss and also the possible fear of the consequences of crises, which are brought into our cities and thus into our living rooms by the media. Rather we should gain a feeling for what we can aim to achieve out of our security.
This simply means to raise morale, to accommodate people in need and not to exclude them. It seems almost ironic that we have never been as safe as we are today. For years there has been an opposite development, a real existing paradox: We live more and more safely, but feel more and more insecure.
Visible safety also means: Danger threatens!
Safety in everyday life always requires, psychologically speaking, protection from potential dangers. As already described, safety is considered a basic human need. It is the desire for freedom as well as control. Control often goes hand in hand with the visibility of security. A simple example: body scans at airports or concrete blocks around Christmas markets. These checks or barriers remind us of the potential dangers that threaten our security, and we often perceive the visibility of this security as impending danger. In that way, this is the principle “Don’t think of the pink elephant.” It is a contradiction, and all too often we find ourselves in a situation where our desire for security limits our freedom.
No more containment and security: Long live flexicurity!
The requirement for contemporary security is consequently lower visibility. It should therefore no longer contradict flexibility. What do we call that? We call it by a term that should be remembered: Flexicurity. Through governmental and entrepreneurial progress, a new risk competence is developing, for companies and ourselves as private individuals, which makes our world safer. Flexicurity ultimately describes the necessity of a compromise between flexibility requirements and security needs—a balancing act that is easier for companies and private individuals to manage than for the sometimes rather cumbersome state machine.
If this sounds too much like a defensive strategy to you, let me tell you that this term comes from the corporate culture and concerns the risk factors prevailing there. Outside the economy, this also applies to factors such as financial security. For example, a freelancer is at the epicenter of flexicurity. It is up to the freelancer to decide how much security is appropriate and when his own flexibility is parament. It is a flexible thing in itself, as we see.
Why so insecure?
The security business is booming. The global market for civil security products amounted to more than 350 billion euros in 2018. Some areas are growing by more than 10 percent per year. How come, when we’re supposed to be so safe? How can we explain the existing feeling of insecurity in our society?
We must place a large part of the blame on today’s information flood. A survey carried out in 2018 by It+V Insurance’s Info Center showed that a more dangerous world due to Trump politics, excessive demands made on Germans by refugees, and tensions caused by the influx of foreigners and terrorism are among the “Top 5” fears of Germans. If we leaf through the newspaper every day, or if we, instead, switch on our TVs or surf Facebook, we are under constant media attack as they bombard us with precisely with these topics. It is not so easy to offer a solution to this problem. Rather, we want to appeal to the point mentioned above: Reflecting on your own point of view should help put some points of these fears into perspective.