Predators look for those they believe will be easy victims. If they think that you aren’t, they’ll look for someone who is. The trick is, you have to make yourself look like a difficult target and the first and most important part is staying alert. This can be done by following a system of colors called the color codes of awareness. Here’s how it works and what to do if that online ‘friend’ turns out to be trouble.
Most people live their lives in code white. They are under the false impression that it’s better to keep one’s head down and not look around at those around them. They don’t know who’s following them whether they’re driving or just walking down the sidewalk. They don’t know who just arrived at the park where their children are playing and they don’t know who else is in the convenience store they are shopping in. People in code white are easy victims. They are easily surprised, taken unawares, frightened, and offer up little if any feasible means of self-defense. One of the most important principles of self-defense is the element of surprise. Give that up and you’ll likely end up in someone’s van or worse a hole in the ground. Most children exist in code white and they’re the ones who should be paying the most attention.
Your children and yourself should operate in code yellow. Someone in code yellow pays attention to everyone around themselves. They notice the man on the sidewalk behind them. They see the car on the road coming towards them. At Mac Donald’s they sit where they can watch the doors and they pay attention to the other patrons in the restaurant. When mom is driving down the road she knows who is in front, behind, or on either side of her car. People in code yellow seldom if at all get into car accidents or get run over on the street. Want to make sure your child never gets hit by a car crossing the street or riding his bicycle? Teach him the color codes and make sure he is always in code yellow. If your child is in code yellow and someone decides to try to kidnap him he will see it coming and at least have a chance at survival.
Code orange is the planning stage. This is where you make your plans based on your level of expertise in self-defense for example. In fact, as you’re noticing those around you you’re making quick little plans all the time. In code yellow you notice a man has just stepped out on the sidewalk behind you and is walking in the same direction. Now you plan. You say to yourself, if he does this, I’ll do that. If he runs up to me I’ll duck into that convenience store and ask for help. If the car driving down the road suddenly makes a U-turn and starts following me I’m going to run the opposite direction while dialing my cell phone for help. Throughout the day you are making and discarding plans as they become useless because nothing happened when the guy started to follow you on the sidewalk. Sure at first it seems like on huge hassle. It’s what I first thought too. Your kids might think your nuts so make a game of it. Before you know it, it will become second nature to you. You’ll be paying attention to everything and making these plans without even being aware you’re doing so.
Code red is the fight or flight mode. This is when you were aware, made a plan, and the worst case scenario just came about. The guy on the sidewalk charged up on you and is about to attack. A car just pulled up to your child and someone is getting out to grab him/her. You made a plan and in code red you put that plan to work. If you plan was to run into a convenience store and ask for help; then do so. If your plan was to poke the guy in the eyeball, then do it. The most important thing here is that you didn’t get taken unawares. You knew it could happen to you and when it did you weren’t surprised at all. You were prepared! What you decide to do in code red depends on your plan at that time, and your plan depended upon your self-defense skills if any, and what seems the most reasonable action at the time. You should know the color codes of awareness and so should your children. One of the most important principles of self-defense is the element of surprise; you’re definitely going to want that on your side.
The sad thing is, most people are not really aware of what is going on around them and because of that, they are easy targets. Predators are like tigers. If you’ve even spent much time watching nature shows about big cats, do they prey on the strongest of the gazelle herd or the weakest? They try to maintain the element of surprise for as long as possible, then they go for the young and infirm, or the old and weak; just like the human predators in our society. Make yourself a difficult target and you won’t get chosen and neither will your child. Your children need to know that there are bad guys (and gals) out there who may want to do them harm. Teach them the color codes and you just may be saving their lives.
Peter Smith is a professional blogger that discusses various legal topics. He writes for Musca Law, a leading law firm in Florida.