This life is fragile. We have seen that over the past few days with the mass attacks on Istanbul, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Orlando and more. Let this be a sobering reminder to those of us who think we are safe where we are. To those who think that these attacks will never affect them. To those who believe that by changing their Facebook profile picture, they're helping make the world a better place. If you're one of those people, you're in more danger than you may want to realize.
You are the people who I see everyday with their nose so far into their phone that they can smell the person they're texting. You are the people who fail to follow any current events and are "shocked" when a massive loss of human life occurs. You are the people who grieve by posting Facebook updates or liking pictures to send a prayer. You are the people who will need to be protected when the (insert choice word here) hits the fan. To those of us who watch where we're walking and who's around us, who follow current events and are not surprised, you are utterly useless and are seen as a soft, easy target. You are the kind of target these savages look for, someone who will cower and cry instead of attempting to fight back. Someone who will not stand in the way of their violent act.
This all goes beyond whether you have a weapon or not. You have the most powerful weapon you need is inside your noggin at all times. The ability to be creative, cunning and courageous will allow the act of self defense against any overwhelming odds. Contrary to what these politicians, and a lot of Americans, think, a weapon is useless without a willing operator. This weapon doesn't have to be a gun. It can be anything that is strong enough to meet flesh and win, whether it's a chair, potted plant or even a pen. However, even if you have the most powerful weapon in the world, you are still useless if you do not prepare the weapon in your cranium.
Our society is, for the most part, extremely civilized and rarely will we ever have to injure another to stay alive. This blessing is also our fatal flaw. Because of this day we live in, our minds are not prepared to inflict bodily harm on others to defend ourselves. We will almost surely lock up and fail to act when it's most necessary. The only way to prevent this from occurring is to completely accept the fact that violence is quickly becoming a way of life, even for the civilized nations like ours. This violence isn't perpetrated by the majority but by the few bad eggs among us who wish to inflict damage to the population. When one accepts the fact that violence is possible at anytime and anywhere, they are automatically at an advantage.
After accepting that violence exists, we must accept that we have the capacity for violence. We must understand that we have the ability to defend ourselves and that it will entail injuring another person. It may be helpful to keep in mind that the person you are injuring is dead set on doing the same to you. It literally becomes a fight for your life and a fight for other people's lives. By preparing your mind for that moment when you have to fight for your life, you will be more inclined to act and save others in the process.
The final characteristic required of each of us is that of vigilance. All of us must pay attention to the world, both immediate and distant. We must know where we are, who's around us, where the exits are, where any choke points are and we must know what is occurring in other nations and how it may affect us. This is the core of situational awareness, knowing the space you take up in this world and what is in and around it. To shut out the world by way of smartphone or iPod is to welcome in unforeseen violence that catches you unprepared and disadvantaged. Look at Orlando for example, it was a bar so right away a gun free zone (not that it stopped that monster), inside its doors is darkness with sporadic lights and patrons getting wasted and not knowing what's going on around them. There is also loud music that essentially drowns out the first bursts of gunfire. Because of these characteristics, Club Pulse and others like it are ideal venues for mass violence.
As citizens of this ever-changing, ever more dangerous world, we must first prepare our minds for violence and prepare our minds to be capable of violence. We need to watch everything that goes on around us and hone in on things that don't look right, like how the Istanbul airport attackers were wearing puffy coats in the summer heat of June. We must understand that some locations are more prone to attacks than others and weigh that risk when we plan to visit. As you are enjoying the place you're visiting, continually play out a contingency plan in your head, mapping out any possible defensive structures, weapons, exits and more. Let every possible scenario play in your mind like a movie and decide how you will act should that actually occur. Through the acceptance of violence, the practice of situational awareness and the action of defending themselves, anyone can change their fate in the instant an attack occurs.
Once again, this life is fragile and can end at any moment. Whether or not you choose to answer when death knocks is up to you. Most who are unprepared answer the door quickly, but those who are prepared, mentally and physically, make use of the peephole and refuse to answer. I ask you today, do you answer the door without checking? Or do you prepare for the fight of your life before it even happens? Stay safe and stay ready because death never calls ahead of time.