THE GIFT OF FEAR
This article is a personal review after reading a book called "The Gift Of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence".
Every individual being is gifted with a unique set of skills that nobody else quite has. These singular blessings have the creative potential to empower a person and contribute to the evolution of our species. But there's one ubiquitous attribute which we've all been endowed with and that is, perhaps ironically, the gift of fear. Now, if the connotations of that word trigger you negativity, then another way to look at it is, the gift of instinct or intuition.
Some distinction needs to be made I think, between raw primal fear, as opposed to conditioned anxiety. Living in the wilderness with the natural flow of elemental rhythms and other wild animals, our ancestors (including a few remaining scattered handfuls of hunter gatherer tribal communities who are still courageously holding out to make a final stand against the onslaught of the ongoing imperial conquest) did not routinely dwell in fear as an unnecessary habit. Unless truly provoked by an immediate external threat from dangerous predators, fear was not an emotion typical to most cases. Today, through the operative conditioning of corporate media propaganda in modern domesticated industrial civilization, we are being bombarded relentlessly with false fear campaigns that aim to keep us stimulated in a psychological state of red alert and chronically frightened with illusions of danger just around the corner every day.
Fact is, the way I see it, there's absolutely nothing to be afraid of, unless something or someone is directly posing a mortally threatening ambushed attack. Otherwise, no physical harm is actually taking place and is simply imagined in the mind. That sort of false reality tricks us into the fight or flight reactive mode and does more accumulative damage to us. A statistical truth is that for the majority of time, most of us are not in any present path of harm or under any pressure to assume a defensive reaction. This is an imposed delusion and we only do a disservice to ourselves. Plus, these repetitive measures prevent us from discerning imminent doom from projected fantasies. In the end, this could one day make or break the real thin line between the gift of life and a seriously fatal incident. Not unlike the boy who cried wolf story.
In street level self defense, it's not form, technique, style or execution that is the most important thing to consider but rather, awareness, perception and attention are the vital components to be accounted for first and foremost. With calm and clear mindfulness, a trained sensitivity to the surroundings will illuminate any clues to sinister invasions. With even just a little experience and practice of opening up the sensory gating channels, the birthright gift of intuitive detection and instinctual acuity will spontaneously single out any sound, sight or smell that possesses any warranted need for fear. This is perhaps the greatest gift. A broad spectrum feeling organization which creates a state of dynamic self defense.
My opinion is that this world isn't as dangerous as some of us have been led to dread. Just don't do stupid things that expose your vulnerability to unknown variables, such as walking alone down darkened streets with headphones plugged in your ears, shutting off your common senses. Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of regret. Life is pretty precious and really meant to be enjoyed. Although not always a simple stroll through a flowery meadow, living can be easy and lots of fun. Self defense is your responsibility and doesn't have to dominate your consciousness. In fact, the best kind is subconscious. Automatic. Just think about our immune systems (including all other life forms: animals, plants, fungi, bacteria), these subtle nerve impulses are automated processes of intelligent self defense strategies that constantly scan for threats to the host system. Then we can just work on freeing up our genius allow our bodies to become saturated with serotonin. You're free to choose and worthy of freedom.
One thing I learned through studying music, as a trained musician, is how to elevate my senses above the base level, to hear and feel everyone playing at once. Don’t just listen to one instrument, listen to the whole orchestra. Transcend the boundaries of ego through a conscious sympathy of the sonic gestalt and frequency of response time tunes up to a hyper resilience.
I believe we have everything we need in order to thrive. Be like water, and become one with the contextual framework of the flowing sensorium. We were virtually downloaded with the compatible software for successfully surviving within the matrix of this symphonically structured environment. And everything we come into contact with, experience, is saturated with meaning. Leading edge tools and technologies are hear to help navigate through tricky terrain. It is totally possible to feel safe, strong and secure in today's complicated world. I encourage you to read this book and share it your loved ones. Knowing how to fight is the least important skill in escalating situations....until it is. So, arm yourself with not only the knowledge, but the wisdom to effectively serve yourself and your loved ones.
In "The Gift of Fear", De Becker draws on his extensive expertise to explode the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable and shows that they usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of compelling stories from his own career and life, he unravels the complexities of violent behavior and details the pre-incident indicators (PINs) that can determine if someone poses a danger to us.
Readers learn how to:
- Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers -Rely on their intuition -Separate real from imagined danger -Predict Dangerous Behavior -Evaluate whether someone will use violence -Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them -Offering in-depth solutions to people who are dealing with domestic abuse or workplace violence or who are the targets of unwanted pursuit, de Becker also provides unique insight into death threats, stalkers, assassins, children who kill, and mass killers.
After reading The Gift of Fear, individuals will be able to confidently answer life’s highest-stakes questions:
- Will the employee I must fire react violently? -How should I handle the person who refuses to let go? -What is the best way to respond to threats? -What are the dangers posed by strangers? -How can I help my loved ones be safer?
The Gift of Fear is an important book about human behavior, one which has left millions of readers stronger and safer.