Avoidance…

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a dance we perform everyday. You’re at the office, and notice a coworker sniffling, sneezing, the classic red nose, wadded up tissue in hand, you notice them using that one particular phone…My guess is, you choose another phone in the office or wiser still, opt for your cellular and make a coffee run.

You’re on your way to work in the morning and find yourself waiting an extra four seconds at the green arrow, about to tap your horn and the driver finishes their text. You squeak through on the yellow. Reaching highway speed, you find yourself again behind “Timmy the Texter”. If you didn’t see the phone in hand, you’d swear they were either intoxicated or in the middle of a diabetic emergency. Checking your mirrors, turn signal on, two lanes separate, you accelerate past shaking your head, quickly putting distance between.

A simple run to the grocery store for milk, bread, and a pound of coffee, heck you don’t even need a basket. Rounding the corner you make a beeline for the cashier turning on his “Lane Open” light. You’re thinking “Sweet, home free!” only to be bumped out of pole position by the heaping cart of groceries that would make a WARN winch groan. But that’s alright; you veer into self check-out.

Everyday we dance. Dance to avoid such conflicts as noticing early the “Right Lane Closed Ahead” sign. Boss is a bit grumpy, so you stay under the radar. Lift lines are painfully long, so you head straight for the back bowls and relish face shots all day.

Without realizing it, we dance. Some of us are better dancers than others. Do you take a quick glance through the windows before approaching and entering the convenience store? Rarely will you see me inside one. Pay at the Pump! Do you lock your car before having to go inside the “hold-up magnet” to get the receipt that failed to print at the pump?

On your way home from work you inadvertently cut someone off, hear their horn blaring and see the international hand sign of F-You! They pull up alongside cussing enough to embarrass a sailor. Turning onto your street, you realize they are still following you. Do you pull into your driveway? No. You dance. Not even tapping the brakes you cruise by, defying human instinct Home= Shelter= SAFETY. Keeping the phone low, pressing speaker option you dial 911 and calmly explain situation relaying vehicle description & plate. 2 stop lights later you hear a “whoop-whoop”. Their clenched fists and furious eyes dissolve just as quickly as it erupted. Do you really want this guy knowing where you, your wife, your children live???

So you dance.

For those of you that have taken my Pistol Safety/ CCW Class, you’ve heard me stress “Situation Awareness”. Much like clicking the Refresh button on your PC, so too must you consistently update your awareness to the environment you are in. There is nothing static about this world in which we live. Ever changing, we have two eyes, two ears, and only one mouth. That kind of ratio should lend to the fact we need to observe and listen twice as much as we speak.

Your skills, both conscious and subconscious, for Situation Awareness, are a direct indication of your ability to dance. Ask yourself, do you simply walk…or do you dance?