Browsing the web as a digital citizen of our miraculous new world, and as an active member of the Risk Management & Security community, I see a lot of content, comments, opinions, views, experiences, and aspirations. Some of them resonate with me, some not so much, but it worries me there is a distinct pattern within our Sector, one that highlights the “nobility” of it all, and one that continuously downplays the struggle unless that struggle is ultimately leading to a heroic personal narrative.
Where is the harm in that you may wonder? Why is it so wrong to dress our sector up in some nice and fancy heroic façade? Why can’t we be presented and treated with respect (that is a questionable statement, believe me, I know) and the reverence or even the hostility that the police or the army or the emergency services enjoy?
While Security has been controversial repeatedly, it has never enjoyed the level of hostility or adoration that the institutionalized establishments enjoy. That is often highlighted with grief and spite, envy and disillusionment.
But is that who we want to be? A version of private police? A version of a private Army? Is that what this is all about? Filling the gaps, the governments around the world cannot? Think about it, think about what it is that we aspire to become in this sector and how we choose to portray ourselves in our uniforms, logos, presentations.
And then think of the futility and the vanity of it all! Not in the business sense, but in the human and social sense. As Risk & Security practitioners we know that Risk & Danger are omnipresent! We know it is embedded in all tiny aspects of our lives, that there is no place on this earth or in this universe in which you can claim to be totally safe and secure, not a single second of your life, that you were immune and impervious to the hurdles of daily existence.
And yet, the people who see the world through the lenses of a security professional, even though they do see the matrix of risks unfolding all around them, the unpredictability of it all, the chaos, the complexity, they STILL make an effort to prepare, to mitigate, to prevent, to manage. They still work tirelessly, from the bottom to the top, to tackle the little things, the bigger things, the daily things, while being active members of their respective communities. While still engaging in society, while still remembering that Risk is an inherent part of the human experience regardless of race, age, ethnicity, background, status.
And in that futility, lies the greatness! Not in mimicking something we should have never aspired to be in the first place, but in carving a place for ourselves in our communities, that allows us to contribute towards a safer and more secure environment in which anyone and everyone can thrive.
And if we should feel proud for something, it's not our individual or corporate accomplishments, but the contributions we make, by raising ourselves and our communities a step ahead of the risks, the problems, the issues, the threats. And doing so even though it is a battle impossible to be won, an ongoing process in which we will not be the ultimate winners. At best, we will be a footnote in someone else’s glorious – yet misleading- account of events.