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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Survival Awareness

Note: This was a very difficult post to write as I did not want to come off ridiculous or leading the reader to believe that I am paranoid or a nutcase. Oh well – did the best I could.

Ever since I was a teenager I always thought I was a little different than my friends. Of course – one thing that was different was my concern over the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. This is where my interest in survivalism came from. I was concerned about a nuclear war happening while my buddies were mostly occupied with playing Pac-Man or Asteroids.
One other thing that made me feel different than many of my friends was awareness. What is awareness? Simply –  it is the knowledge of what is going on around you.
Whether it’s riding the “T” in Boston or walking the streets in Charlotte NC – I make an effort to be aware of what is going on around me. I do not just watch and look at things in my environment – I listen as well.
What kinds of things?
  • Location of vehicles – moving or not in relation to my location.
  • Paying attention to people around me – specifically:
    • Where people are.
    • Are they in groups.
    • What are they looking at?
    • Where are they walking?
    • Are they just standing in one place?
    • Who are they talking to?
    • Who are they looking at?
    • Are they dressed appropriately for the weather?
    • There are lots more.
I try to have a heightened sense of awareness for  many of the same reasons why people carry concealed – they want to protect themselves and their family. If people were more aware of their surroundings there would be far fewer crimes such as rapes and carjackings.
How can you increase your awareness?
  1. Use your peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is what you see on the side of wherever you are looking. Many times things happen NOT directly in front of you. With just a little practice – you can use your peripheral vision to make observations and “see” more. Try this – look straight ahead and look at an object. Now – observe a pet or a child do something directly to the left and right of you. You may not see extreme details – however you may soon see more than you used to.
  2. Listen.Listening is one of the most undervalued methods of observation. How many time have you been walking down the street and heard a loud racing engine of a car and looked to see a speeding vehicle? This is what I am talking about – but on another scale. Whether it be footsteps in a parking garage or the sound of an argument one aisle over in he grocery store – be aware. Listening may allow you to be aware of that mugger waiting around the corner in the parking garage or keep you out of the grocery store aisle where an aurgument turns violent.
  3. Scan.Direct vision does not have to appear so direct. Walking through a park or a busy city  – you can look around and see a lot if you pay attention. You do not need to look directly at something to see it. You can look at something while turning to look at something else. An example: Your at the park with your children. It would be very natural for you to be looking around watching your children run and play. While watching your kids – observe the people around you. You may see something such as that man leaning up against a tree taking pictures, or that women with a baby carriage and no baby.
In no way am I talking about paranoia. It is really just being aware of what is going on around you so that you may be able to prevent something bad from happening- to you or to a loved one.
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