The Shrew View: On Strengthening Awareness
Is it time for all of us to strengthen our awareness muscle?
Living in the United States is like a double edged sword. The freedoms we cherish are at times unwittingly used against us. Consider this passage from Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
What I mean by this is that our Creator has brought forth in this country a time of peace that could hardly be imagined 100 years ago. This has not happened by chance or by accident. Much of this peaceful coexistence has developed through increasing our understanding of an individual’s God given rights that are tangable (like property rights) as well as intellectual (like free speech) and of our physical personhood (our bodies and identities). We put a high value on these rights because if not then tyranny would be allowed to reign free. Yet we know that the duality of good and evil exists as fact.
Not even God can stop an act of violence. God does however judge the perpetrator and his or her actions. Humankind can put in place methods to alleviate violet acts, but humankind cannot necessarily stop the thoughts and attitudes of someone’s heart.
In separate instances I have been forcibly kissed, robbed, mugged, and molested. I choose not to be a victim because to do so I give over my soul and spirit to the perpetrator who takes great pleasure in their offense. This is the double edged sword. My creator has given me the personal power of awareness which I can use to mitigate the severity of most circumstances. Awareness allows me to think and live more strategically, and one way that I have actualized this is through the principles of karate.
Here are a few things that I would typically teach at my self defense classes for women and girls:
- Walk with purpose (Have your keys ready to use for your car or home.)
- Be in tune with your surroundings (For instance, don’t take your eyes off the stranger asking you a question…They want your guard down.)
- Know your exits.
- Listen to your intuition.
- Say no and mean it.
- Don’t feel rude by being loud or yelling to draw attention to a difficult situation.
- Vary your routines when driving to regular destinations, choosing a parking spot, walking or running for exercise.
There is more good in this world than there is evil. That is why it is so easy to live our lives without much thought to personal protection. Awareness is the answer, not just for some but for everyone.