Your Life Might Depend On It
If you peruse through the news stories in the national headlines you will see numerous stories of women lost or murdered, men shot and killed, and children lost or forgotten. And even though we see these news stories, we keep moving ahead with the belief that they are not an integral part of our own productive lives. That may be true because many of the stories are at a distance from us. But it always touches us in one way or another. We may start thinking about what kind of danger might be surrounding us or of others we know who suffered an unforeseen fate. So, take another look at the city you live in. The statistics may narrow down the chances of you being attacked, but the danger could be lurking from the corners of your safe world.
So, how safe do you feel? Do you feel that you can jog safely around the local trail or let your kids play in the park? Safety is the most important factor in being comfortable and successful in your life. Successful people are confident and when it comes to your own safety confidence is the key.
Safety starts with awareness of your surroundings. This includes the area in which you reside. Whether you live in an apartment or house, it is important to know who is around you. Even if you do not know your neighbor’s names it is good to, at least, notice comings and goings. Would you recognize potential danger if you saw it? It might be a group of kids that are walking around outside late at night making crazy noises and playing loud music? It could be a group of kids walking home from school. Can you be sure which group is not dangerous? What if either group were to mill around in a back alley after dark? Would that change your mind? It should be clear that it is not how people look, but the way they act that make them seem dangerous. Do they seem negatively aggressive, or do they seem passive? The only way to recognize dangerous people are by the aggressive actions they take. What is he or she doing to make you feel afraid, a little agitated, or suspicious? It could be that the suspect might be shifting his or her head back and forth as though looking out for someone. Suspicious behavior could also be considered as wearing out of season clothing or carrying something out of the ordinary such as an axe or tire iron.
Suppose you were to take a walk down the hidden pathway through the woods. As you are walking, enjoying the view, and listening to your music, unbeknownst to you a stranger approaches from behind. Can you hear his footsteps or sense his presence? Chances are that you do not and if you did would you be ready to defend yourself? He may have a rag with ether on it or a knife pointed at your throat. Unfortunately, many women have disappeared this way. There are no limitations on where criminals can go, and no specific city which is completely safe from threats of violence. Federal statistics do reveal where the safest cities are in the USA, but it is absurd to think there is one city or town where safety is guaranteed. No such place exists, so normal everyday citizens have to be prepared by being aware of abnormal or unusual situations. I have listed a few tips to help increase your awareness:
- Prepare yourself mentally-stay focused
- Keep your bag or purse close to your body
- Travel in pairs whenever possible
- Don’t let the attacker take you from the crime scene
- Even though we need to be on the lookout for danger, we must consider that not everyone that does something out of the ordinary is a criminal or is dangerous. The point to understand is that it is worth a few minutes or seconds of your time to pay attention. One day your life might depend on it
DD White (2nd degree Black Belt)
Self-Defense Coach/Author (MBA)
Chief Instructor at Pro Martial Arts, Lyndhurst, Ohio
Self-Defense Coach--Black Belt, Author, MBA. Chief Instructor at Pro Martial Arts and Self-Defense Instructor at Kent State University. Teaching groups and priviate lessons. Writing about Bullying Prevention, Predator Prevention, Women's Self-defense, and Karate.