Barriers

I was posed an interesting thought whilst offshore. Upon climbing several flights of stairs up about 150ft of platform to the roof of the Production side, my cohort turned to me and asked me if I had used the barrier that runs the length of the stair case. The answer was yes – but then he made a very interesting point. We could’ve totally walked up and down these stairs without even looking at the barrier, never once setting our hands down on the barrier. It helped us not on iota on our climbs up and down the stairs – in fact, we could easliy do it without even thinking that the barrier was there.

So, why does suddenly then the thought of doing without the barrier fill me with such dread? The imagining of the suddenly vanished barrier made go slightly weak, and as I walked right to the edge of the walkway, looking 100ft into the blue and sparkly water, but not touching the barrier, I realised that without it there I would be no where near the edge. The inherent safety offered by the barrier being there, even without using it, is enough for me to forego all fears of falling off. The irony is that without using it, it might as well not be there.

It makes me think of other self imposed barriers I see in my way that I use subconsciously.