What does it mean to have a sense of agency and why is having a sense of agency essential to one’s personal safety? How is it that people seemingly at the “top of their game” struggle to articulate their identity following shake-ups in the very organizational structures that have empowered them? What does it mean when you no longer introduce yourself as, "Hi, I'm the chief of (very important position) for (very important organization)? Really, it never mattered that much, folks. Really. Did you know that astronaut Buzz Aldrin became a recluse sustained by fast food and alcohol once he became “just” Buzz Aldrin? Buzz’s agency was structure-defined and he struggled greatly to re-establish his agency after NASA. ABOUT THIS HOLIDAY PODCAST. This folksy informal holiday special podcast, filmed in front of a fireplace, includes a Santa-hat donned David “The Safety Doc” Perrodin reflecting upon how his own agency was impacted across the years. Internal agency was cultivated by playing basketball on an ice-slicked driveway in northern Wisconsin, complementing an elderly lady at a restaurant and practicing Zen-like awareness of the environment as well as keen introspection during walks, runs and 75-mile bike treks. Western Civilization fosters external agency. Advertising campaigns attempt to convince us that the most important people in the neighborhood discover a huge red bow upon a luxury car snuggled in their pristine driveway. Retailers aggressively spend to convince you that material possessions measure one’s agency. Perhaps, but externally-fueled agency is a safety vulnerability. David shares his encounters with the rollercoaster of external agency and how he had neglected his health to the point when walking a light incline on campus left him winded. WHAT IS AGENCY? Agency is feeling in control of one’s life - being able to express one’s power. Agency is feeling needed or wanted and such perceived “importance” can create a sense of power and control. Social order is important – and so are structures, be it a corporation or your “like” tally on Facebook. Agency is structure-dependent. Yet, we seek control over the structures that covertly control us. Ultimately, we over-estimate our abilities to captain our environment and, as our bodies fail from obesity, sedentary lifestyles and stress, we quickly become “the person that had it all, and then had a heart attack.” External agency also makes others dependent upon you in order to maintain their own sense of being. Be a fan, not a fanatic. People have actually fallen into a depressive state after their favorite sports team lost a championship game. In this way, we are like flags waiting for a breeze. CONCLUSION. External agency, false agency or lack of agency pose substantial risks to one’s safety prowess as it blunts one’s ability to identify the flux as reality is perceived as being created or manipulated. This holiday season, give the gift of helping others to discover their internal agency. OTHER FORMATS. You can view this podcast on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLqnCWFkbf4&t=34s or on The 405 Media http://the405media.com/the-safety-doc/ FOLLOW ME. On Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to this YouTube channel.

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