Cheri Speak

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The Responsibility and Vulnerability of “Access”

Unlocked Padlock Computer Key In Green Showing Access And Protection

Graphic Stock license

By Cheri Roberts of Cheri Speak and Challenging the Rhetoric

It occurred to me that I am fortunate in the access I have to so many people around the world; particularly people of import [to me] in the United States. I used to joke that, I “collected people”, but it’s kind of true. It wasn’t until — somewhere along the way, people started collecting me in the same way that I began to understand there comes a responsibility to having access to another; be it a person or entity.

That realization was a strange role reversal and I have since ventured forward with it in mind.

Costs & Benefits of Access

Graphic Stock license

Graphic Stock license

Having access to another comes at a price. This is true of all human relationships from personal or familial to business, friend or foe. Sometimes the price of access is trust or loyalty. Sometimes the price is literal, in dollars. Sometimes, the price is simply about respect regardless of the differences [or similarities] that granted you the access in the first place.

Sometimes the benefits are worth it. Sometimes, they’re not.

My Password Is *#LE08H … Just Kidding, But …

Graphic Stock license

Graphic Stock license

The vulnerability of access, whether giving or receiving, is a risk I have chosen to take. The digital world led us to full-disclosure in order to live within it. When I created Cheri Speak, I knew I was opening myself up to anything and everything and I haven’t been let-down.

When we blog or otherwise publish, we give the password to ourselves to the world.

Raw Steaks Stakes

Danger And Safety Keys Showing Caution And Hazards

Danger And Safety Keys Showing Caution And Hazards

Having access [or being accessed] isn’t always easy to manage, especially when it’s new. I myself made a lot of mistakes along the way. I over-stepped boundaries I didn’t know were there or had blinded myself from seeing. Sometimes, I asked for too much. Other times I may not have asked for enough. In addition, being accessed by others — although it’s nice to be sought out and have people want your opinion/time/help, it opens you to so many things. In my experience those things often include as many negatives as positives. Personal harm and danger become a real thing to concern yourself with once you have granted access. But, the same is said of those who you have access to. They put their personal safety in a perceived trust in you, however the trust was fostered.

We all make ourselves vulnerable in some way. Those of us that live our lives out-loud via blogs, podcasts, etc. have asked for the ultimate trust and [most] have no benefit of celebrity or fame to protect them.

Now it's my turn to listen...

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