You Don’t Need a Black Belt to Protect Yourself

We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.”

Aaron Sorkin

The quote provides a very apt description of the world we live in. It describes the feeling that authority brings into any relationship we’re involved in; either with ourselves or with each other. The world as we know it has completely evolved. Most people who lived in the 50s to 80s often remark how different everything is by recounting how they were able to stay out till dark and how nefarious activities didn’t appear to be as rife as they are now. The former may be true, the latter definitely isn’t. With the rise of digital media, things have been brought to life.

Activities that used to be previously shrouded in mystery can now be brought to light very easily.

Security has become a primary source of concern for all, and everyone has a role to play.

Amongst all other forms of measures, personal safety and security rank the highest because it refers not only to physical safety (freedom from physical harm) but also to psychological safety which involves freedom from worry about physical safety as well as being victimized by hostility, aggression, and harassment.

This holistic definition of personal safety and security raises quite an interesting POV which is the state of the mind of an individual. Everything generally starts from the mind. The mind is the root of all things good or bad. The atomic bomb was first conceptualized in the mind. Ice cream was also first conceptualized in the mind.

Primary safety and security thus rank the highest because it deals with you and the most important things to you as a person.

Let’s look at these tips that can help you beef up your security;

  • Awareness of your surroundings. What would you do when a naturally boisterous environment suddenly becomes quiet, or you find suddenly see the same person roaming the street? It is very important to take be aware of your surroundings especially when something seems to be out of sorts like the white van with tinted windows just down the bend, or men/women who are in strategic locations. When you do this, and you notice that something seems out of place or something seems strange, you are able to prep your mind for whatever might happen, which translates to the physical too.
  • Your life is the most important. Your life is the most important thing to you. Not your iPhone X that you saved a whole year and took a loan to get, or the vehicle that you’re still paying for. Many lives have been lost due to the fact that people didn’t relinquish their valuables as soon as they were apprehended. A case can be made of the people who died in the oil tanker explosion that happened in June 2018. Eyewitnesses and survivors remarked how people tried to maneuver their ways and saved their cars. Their lives would’ve been saved if only they left their vehicles. Here’s another simple tip, be ready to relinquish your possessions unless you’re confident in your martial arts training from Jackie Chan’s movies.
  • Beware of distractions. Distractions are one of the costliest things in (hu)mankind, and they arise in different forms. It may be answering the phone while driving, chatting with bae on the bus when you’re on your way home from work, or even reading that novel you just got from a co-worker. These things require concentration. We’ve heard many stories of people’s phones being snatched by Oshodi louts. This could’ve been avoided if the owners had either kept their phones away from the windows or if they didn’t even bring their phones out at all. Remember, sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. Maybe you’re talking to a very important client and you’re so close to sealing a deal, but if you lose that device, chances are you will lose that deal too.
  • Shake things up a bit. We’re all creatures of habit. Some are even more habitual than others. There are people who start putting on their shoes from the left foot, then there are more defining habits like leaving the house at a certain time, and getting to the bus stop at a certain time. The rule of thumb is to not trust anybody even you, especially yourself. It is no secret that robbers and king of boys make it a point of duty to observe their environments before striking. This doesn’t only happen in movies, it is real. Once in a while, get in from the other street, move 5 minutes before time, go through another route. Shake things up a bit.
  • Arm yourself. This is mostly for the ladies. Remember the opening quote, maybe you don’t have a gun or a Swiss army knife, we certainly wouldn’t advise you to do that, but there are less dangerous ways of arming yourself. Tasers and Pepper Sprays come to mind. They are easy to conceal, no less effective and are actually quite affordable. For the spray, aim for the eyes, and for the taser, aim for the neck, then go for the balls of your assailant and finally run. While this is mostly for women, men can also take a cue from this.
  • Trust your gut. Your mind is the seat of everything good and bad and a lot of times we’ve rued our inability to follow what it tells us. This is a rule of thumb, whenever something feels off, chances are it is off. Trust your mind, trust your gut feeling, there is a reason you have it. Many people have been saved simply because they relied on what their guts told them.
  • Be careful with Social Media. Digital media is the new thing. Most of us get highs from watching our notifications pop up, we like seeing how many likes, comments, retweets we have. It’s all fun and games when we update our profiles, but we need to watch just how much information we put out there. The world has become so connected that it’s easy to know all about someone without even meeting them. This opens the door to potential attackers when we upload every detail about our days. Take stock of how much you put out there for the world to see.
  • Ensure that all doors and windows are locked at the appropriate times. This may be counterintuitive because you can deliberately leave some windows open to create the feeling of being at home knowing full well that potential attackers usually carry out their duties when people are unavailable. Remember what Kevin did in Home Alone?  But know when to alternate between both instances. If you are home alone and it is time for bed, you shut the lights and close both the doors and windows.

A healthy mind is generally a reflection of a healthy body and vice versa and to have a healthy body, you need to eat and exercise well. Remember not to trust anybody, and above all, program your mind to be alert and security conscious.

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