Recently, I created and delivered a workshop on personal safety and self defense. Three points become paramount, no matter what a person’s age or capabilities: be awake; notice; be ready to respond. When awake, I clarify, how we appear to others makes us a target or of little interest to the potential bad guy. I challenged my audience
with considering how they fiddle with handbags, satchels, or backpacks/ focussing solely on the cell phone, assuming a posture of fear and insecurity vs. how an awake person already prepares before they leave the house. The bags are packed, the phone calls are made and double checked, an awake person walks with head up and shoulders back. Walking with purpose and confidence looks a certain way. I asked the audience to consider how others view them. Next, noticing involves seeing who and what is around. If something looks unsafe, it probably is. Therefore, leave. Show up late due to taking a different route to the intended destination, or call and reschedule an appointment altogether. Last, I detailed possible responses to a variety of situations. When awake and noticing our surroundings, we probably will not have adverse circumstances to which we must resond. But, in the event we cannot avoid mayhem, a very effect response is to bellow, “HEY!”. This not only startles dogs, people, bad guys, but it also creates witnesses. Further, bellowing, “HEY!” forces breathing. When we breathe, we can most effectively respond.
Considering wakefulness, noticing, and resonding accordingly, we can feel safe, be safe and remain safe. My favorite addage announces: “I don’t know about the bad guy, but I am going home for dinner.”