Carrie Groneman is an author, blogger and friend of mine. Although she lives several states away.. her love, respect and caring spirit can be felt as if she were living right next door.
Her book, A Mothers Shadow, is a fictional novel that is uniquely written to give the reader a morsel of wisdom after each chapter. On her blog, amothersshadow.com, she posts recipes from her cookbook, fun and creative crafts, as well as serious topics that empower and help women.
We’ve decided to do a collaboration where we will focus on the topic of personal safety. She has posted lots of helpful tips on how to be safe in your home, car, parking lot and many other situations. I am going to focus solely on awareness.
Awareness is a word that gets used a lot, almost to the point of desensitization. You have been told since toddlerhood to “be aware”.
Watch where you’re going before you run into something.
Watch where you’re swinging that stick before you hit someone.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
So what exactly is awareness?
According to Wikipedia,
Awareness is the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human’s or an animal’s perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event.
Why is awareness such a big deal when it comes to personal safety?
Imagine this scenario: Being invited to a social gathering or an event that you were excited about attending. You bought a new outfit, got your hair and nails done, the whole nine yards. You’re introduced to a nice guy there by a friend and you two hit it off well. But after a while you start to notice that he has a temper. By now you already have feelings for him and you start to wonder why no one told you about his behavior before you started dating? You were unaware of the circumstances.
Had you’d known, you probably would had walked the other way.
Awareness is cousins with preparations. Being aware of potential danger helps you better prepare for it.
If you are at a gas station waiting to pay for your snacks and you see a guy jump out of a car with his hands in position to grab a firearm, you are one step ahead of others who may be looking down at the ground or staring at the TV behind the register. You have choices at this point.
1. Leave through another exit if possible
3. [legally] pull out your firearm
4. Wait and see what happens.
But if you’re not aware of what’s happening then your choices are limited by default. You may find yourself at the mercy of an armed criminal.
Due to the number of distractions we face on a daily basis, most people stay in a habitual state of non-awareness. This is about as dangerous as a zebra dancing through the forest wearing a pink tutu.
Your first weapon in personal safety should be to look up, look around and pay attention.