Monday, May 30, 2011

Awareness and Ninjas

The best and first principle of self-defense is awareness.

Look at any adventure novel or spy thriller.  The hero is almost always described as watchful, or with eyes that constantly scan the room.  That’s the author’s way of telling you the hero is aware and ready for action.  It’s a good writing ploy but it also mirrors the truth.
Whether you are a soldier on patrol, a beat cop checking locked doors or a citizen coming out of the movies, you need to be aware of your surroundings.
Why?  After all, you’ve got a cell phone and the police are minutes way.  Or perhaps you’ve got a gun or you’re surrounded by fifty other people.  Surely you don’t need to be on guard.  Isn’t all that watchfulness a little paranoid?  You could spend your life looking for imaginary ninjas.
I could quip that even paranoids have enemies but that’s not the point.  The point is seeing trouble coming lets you avoid it.  Avoiding trouble is a worthy goal and rewarding in itself. 

Avoid trouble and you will not be filling out forms for the police, or spending time lying in a hospital bed, shoveling money at a lawyer to get out of trouble, or being viewed at the morgue.
What’s the worst that can happen from being aware of your surroundings?  The very worst is the steps to avoid trouble fail to work and you have fall back on plan B.  Plan B is likely to be some form of controlled violence. 
The best?   Your awareness of people, things and places causes the criminal to select another victim.  You see things that nobody else sees.  That noise in the bush turns out to be two cardinals raising their brood.  You see the child’s face light up when mom picks him up.  The classic car that turns the corner triggers forgotten memories of family and friends that you mentally displaced. 
To me it sounds like awareness will enrich your life.
Hey!  Isn’t that a ninja under that table?  Oops, sorry.  It was just a kid dressed in a Zorro costume.