Just a short time ago, an arguably bad comedy was released entitled “A Million Ways to Die in the West”. The movie had its moments but, the very title of the movie is profoundly true for anywhere in the world. Just ask the residents of Paris, France. Further, while there may be a million ways to die anywhere, terrorism seems to be a very frightening reality these days.
I don’t really have anything new or profound to offer in this regard. I have only a prayer for each and every person who reads this post:
Plan for it
Plan for it in your home, in your work-place, where you shop, where you dine. Plan for it anywhere and everywhere you go. It’s pretty simple, really. But, it takes some measure of discipline.
It’s what we call “gaming”. That is, playing out a scenario utilizing your environment in your mind. Making mental notes of exits, hiding places, items in the room that can be used for defense. Saying in your head, “If a fire were to break out over there, I would go to that wall and get the fire extinguisher”, or “If a car jacker were to try to take my car in this parking lot, I would back into that empty parking space to escape”.
You play these scenarios out in your head because the wrong time to figure these things out is when that fire really happens or when the car jacker is really standing outside your car window, yelling at you. Gaming takes the decision-making part of the thought process (see: OODA Loop) and allows you to simply act. The decisions are made in advance and you are building mental bridges to actions that can prove to be life-saving.
With practice and a little self-discipline, this can become almost and unconscious habit for you. Further, it will certainly improve your chances for escape or survival. It only takes a few seconds and no one will know you’re doing it. In truth, I could list a hundred reasons why this is a good practice but, I pray you never truly have to see the payoff. That means things have gotten bad and you’re forced to take some scary actions to save yourself or others.
But, wouldn’t it be good to survive?
Here is a video that was made by the City of Houston some years back. It was very well made though, a little unsettling to watch. None the less, my hope is that it spurns you into preemptive action and you may just start the practice of “gaming” (without the console and controllers).
God Bless us all and Be Safe!