Situational awareness is very tough to learn let alone apply in this rushed society that we live in. You are basically learning to focus on as many of the sights, sounds, smells and human behaviors in your environment as possible. However, for most people in our digital age, learning to keep your eyes off your phone and regularly scanning your
environment is a pretty difficult task. My goal for you is to learn to identify either the potentially dangerous or safe behavioral signs of others around your home, in your neighborhood and within your community.
Do you see the signs?
Imagine any environment: church, the gym, work, the store, your favorite restaurant, nature trail or whatever. You name the environment in any season and there will be an expected set of behavioral patterns and dress code. This is known as the environment’s “baseline.” Behavioral profiling is different than racial profiling; it’s observing behavior, reading body language and appropriate attire while racial profiling perpetuates ignorant social fears and assumptions. In other words, sometimes your gut feeling can be totally misleading, but someone not fitting into the baseline should give you a reason to observe more closely.
Consider these scenarios:
- A sharp dressed man in front of a church on Sunday. Is this a red flag?
- Another man in jeans, a t-shirt and a baseball hat in front of an elementary school, who has a cartoon themed small backpack, puts the pack down and leaves. How about this? Any warning bells?
- The same man, now in a suit, is wearing the same backpack over one shoulder and is met by an excited little girl. Does this make you want to call the cops?
- A woman, standing in front of city hall in a parka in early December. Does this make you nervous?
- The same woman in a parka in late July, shifting her weight from one foot to another slowly rubbing her hands and looking left to right. Red flag?
When out and about in your community, take a few seconds to notice anomalies to your environment’s baseline. What you notice may be nothing or you just might get the jump on a potential threat to you, your family or your neighborhood.
Remember, true wealth begins with inner health.