The Safety Pyramid – Part 1

If you work at a hospital, they say that a full moon brings out lots of bizarre and unusual activity in the ER, Labor and Delivery and the OR. While the staff may be caught off guard momentarily, all they have to do is look at the night sky and remind themselves, “Oh yes, this seems to happen every full moon.”

The holidays are like a full moon to the millions of families that are artificially shoved back together every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of us find ourselves excited for a moment standing on the front porch, but this gives way to feeling caught off guard as the bizarre and unusual activities begin to play out. It seems that every family has an Uncle Charlie, whose already had too much to drink, and the siblings that are treating each other like the cannibal who was late for dinner… wait for it… who got the cold shoulder. But then we remind ourselves, “Oh yes, this seems to happen every holiday season.” We can feel hurt and disappointed.

Who’s safe, who isn’t? Should family always be considered “safe?” They’re often not safe, but we find ourselves drawn back into close proximity on a regular basis. Some family members are very safe and provide a lifetime of love and friendship. How do we decide who is safe and who is not? We’ve devised a simple concept called the Safety Pyramid that can help us sort out this question.

  1. Get a piece of paper…
  2. Draw a triangle on the page that resembles a pyramid.
  3. Now divide the pyramid into thirds with horizontal lines.
  4. Label the bottom base section “Acquaintances”, the middle “Friends” and smaller top section “Safe people.”

It should begin to be obvious that the people in our lives are not all the same, the vast majority fit in the bottom two thirds, and that a smaller number of people are truly “safe”. Beginning next week, I’ll share with you the “rules of the pyramid”… but this week I’ll give you a sneak peak and give you the first one. Rule #1: Everybody including friends and family starts at the bottom level.

In part 2, I’ll share with you the “rules of the pyramid”… but this week I’ll give you a sneak peak and give you the first one.

Rule #1: Everybody including friends and family starts at the bottom level.

Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay