Prosecuting Attorney: Do you exercise situational awareness at all times?
Defendant in self-defense case: Yes.
Prosecuting Attorney: Because you are paranoid and want to take someone out? You’re guilty as sin.
Defendant in self-defense case: No. Situational awareness isn’t concerned with feeling threatened without cause; that’s paranoia, and paranoia is what goes hand in hand with feeling aggressive without cause. That’s dangerous. Instead – and having nothing to do with paranoia – true situational awareness is directed at evaluating circumstances with an eye to deescalation. A responsible upstanding citizen is interested in peace, even to the point of removing oneself from a situation if at all possible, doing more than the law requires on behalf of peace. Being oblivious and naive is unhelpful to oneself, to the community, and indeed, to any possible aggressor who may have his opportunity for aggression removed by a responsible citizen practicing situational awareness.
//===// So, how have you developed your situational awareness today?
5 responses to “Situational awareness: an essential exercise in deescalation. Distinctions”
Situational awareness, I’m sitting in a coffee shop and everyone is talking the dollar. They are trying to discern their worth. They are trying to justify life in the terms of currency . Isn’t every life worth something? Isn’t one life as valuable as another?
Not everyone knows that or cares.
I sell stuff on eBay to make ends meet. Recently a man messaged me saying he lived in another city in my state and could we meet up so he could pick up an item I was selling in person. which was an inexpensive item but heavy so the shipping was more than the item price itself. I replied politely that although I understood that seemed economically sensible, I do not do in person pickups. He replied indignantly, calling me a very rude name. I responded that I am a single woman and it is just the best policy not to meet up with people for online sales, and his manner of reply underscored why I might not want to meet random people, and may God bless him. He continued with escalating abusiveness and profanity and accusing me of being paranoid and etc. After a couple rounds of this and being courteous to him, I suggested that his namecalling, unfounded accusations, and profanity seem to be habitual and must negatively impact himself and his family, so I would pray for him and his family. He asserted that he believed that I was threatening him and his family and would report me to eBay. I said that was a good example of an unfounded accusation. Anyway that is what came to mind about avoiding a bad situation by not meeting up with this sort of person for the sake of a $10 sale. It’s probably not exactly the kind of thing you have in mind. Actually although I do not really know this for sure, one of the things that I feel like keeps me safer is that I dress in a very traditionally modest way, long skirt and modest top, every day. I feel like men are relatively more likely to treat me courteously… which of course does not apply when talking to someone over the internet! Last time I can remember any type of conflict with anyone was two black high school girls behind me on the bus who were spouting a steady stream of obscenities, I turned around and politely asked if they would notice their language and remember they’re in a public place. They angrily treated it as if I were being racist and absurdly referenced Rosa Parks and were very proud of themselves standing up for themselves. It really left me shocked and sad! How racist would it be if I assumed based on the color of their skin that they cannot be expected to control such foul language?
Regarding the eBay item, very soon after another person out of state bought the item and paid the shipping without complaint or trouble.
Our Lord, I think, provides us with a pretty good sense of something being wrong. It’s good to pay attention to that. You did well.
I remember a scene from the old “Kung Fu” TV series, where, in a flash-back, a master was asked by a student what the best way to deal with a possibly dangerous situation. The master unblinkingly replied “run away.”
A fictional Master Khan once said to Grasshopper:
Avoid rather than check;
Check rather than hurt;
Hurt rather than maim;
Maim rather than kill;
All life is precious nor can it be replaced.
Not bad for a TV show.