Updated: Mar 5
ART of STREET SMARTS lesson II
If you have been following these readings as I have asked you to, you should have a pretty good idea of who you are and what you may or may not be capable of by now. This is self-awareness and if you completed it with honesty and sincerity you should feel a lot better about yourself now, because the exercise in lesson 1 also nurtures the building of self trust. And self trust is a top requirement when it comes to being street smart because if you can't trust yourself while surrounded by people who you can't trust, ...well, I'm sure you can figure that one out on your own.
Now that you have identified your self through lesson one it is now time to identify the next key element about you, and that would be where you plan to place your newly identified self. In other words, your surroundings or,
It's common sense that we probably wouldn't need to be street smart if we never ever went out into the streets right? Well I'm assuming that you don't just sit at home all day and night staring out of your window like a cat so your feet probably hit the streets every now and then. That means we have to identify and control how the streets that you will encounter, affect you.
Here are 10 questions to answer that will bring clarity to your outing efforts so you can learn how to be smarter about the deeds.
What places do you frequent regularly? This includes work, shopping, doctor, school, etc... The nature of your reason for being in public does not grant you immunity from bad occurrences. Identify the places that you attend and get to know them. Be aware of the people who are around there. Meet the staff members. Pay attention to the news to see if your spots are ever mentioned during crime reports.
When are you in public? The days of the week and times of the day can determine the threat level of the streets that you plan to visit. Trouble makers usually come out after dark during the weekends but they aren't restricted to just that.
What are your methods of travel? Do you drive your own car, ride the bus, walk, take public transportation? Understand that the further you step away from travelling privately in your own vehicle alone, the more you are exposing yourself to potential threats. Driving your own vehicle allows you to decide who can and can't get next to you while travelling.
Do you drive expensive vehicles? If you drive a fancy car you can easily become the target of car jackers and robbers. Don't ever underestimate the odds that your vehicle may be the next target. Whether you drive a fancy car or not you should always keep your eye out for potential jackers and kidnappers. It isn't hard to do and it doesn't take a lot of effort. Just remember to always assure that you can drive off immediately if needed. Don't block yourself in behind cars at lights or train stops. When stopped pay attention to your rear view mirrors. If you see anyone jump out of a vehicle behind you, drive off! And if you happen to get rammed by another vehicle in a shady, suspicious area, DO NOT PULL OVER IN THAT AREA! Signal to the person who hit you to follow you to a well let, people occupied area to deal with it. If they bail don't worry, your insurance will pay for it. Car jackers will ram you and even destroy the body of your car in the process to get you to jump out of your vehicle at a location that they previously set up.
What is your vehicle yelling? Is your vehicle loaded with bumper stickers and nick nacks that announce something about you to everyone that you pass? Beware loading your vehicle with bumper stickers that identify you as a gun supporter or owner as they can make your car a target for break ins. Outspoken stickers and do dads that can offend others may also make your vehicle and even you a target. Be aware of this.
What roadways or streets do you take to your destinations? If you are passing through shady neighborhoods or areas, you are increasing your odds of being caught in a situation. Additionally low income areas are prone to have more uninsured motorists driving along side you. I personally take the longer routes through "higher income" areas to avoid driving the highways alongside run down areas, because they are usually swarmed with dangerous, inconsiderate drivers who are usually intoxicated, high, full of anger, violent and possibly criminal. It's not worth the risk. I outsmart them before they even know who I am. You should too.
Where do you park your vehicle? Park in well lit populated areas. Be aware when exiting and entering your call. Scan the area to see if anyone is watching you. Avoid parking next to vans with sliding doors, vehicles with dark tinted windows, and cars with two or more people sitting in them.
What's in your vehicle cab? Do not leave ANYTHING visible in your vehicle or you risk your windows being busted out by someone who just wanted to see if it was something of value. Do not even leave envelopes or loose change. Assure that NOTHING is seen when looking inside your vehicle from outside.
When do you gas up your vehicle? It is best to get gas for your car during the daylight hours and DO NOT leave your keys in the ignition with your doors unlocked while going in to pay or get a soda. Your vehicle will be stolen and your insurance WILL NOT cover it.
Do you visit or pass through dangerous areas? Organize, adjust and even change the activities of your life so you can eliminate attending dangerous areas. Nothing is worth subjecting your self constantly to a regenerating risk of being seriously harmed some day if you happen to be "unlucky". Averages can and will catch up to you. Be smart and put your life before other reasons.
I hope I have given you enough tools to better identify the integrity of the places that you have to go to, want to go to, and shouldn't be going to. When it comes to being street smart the biggest element is area or environment. That's because an environment is unpredictable and one can never gain total control of the environment that he or she is in. This means other elements are constantly determining what is and isn't about to happen around and possibly even to you. Please take the tips that I have given you about environment seriously. Some of the situations that certain environments can breed, are un-forgiving, cruel, and violently vicious. They don't allow second chances.
Taking control to make planned, sensible decisions on WHICH environments you will visit, WHEN you will visit them, HOW you will conduct yourself when there, and WHERE you will place your vehicle and self while you are there, all add up to lessen your chances of ever having to face an issue. Because bad luck and criminals don't target the person who looks aware, prepared, ready and confident. They target the ones who think it will never happen to them.
Know the places that you plan to subject yourself to. Fully controlling the areas that you visit may not be possible, but controlling yourself in the area is. And if you do it consistently you will start to develop the insight to influence, direct and at times dictate the behavior of the people who are in the area with you. It is very possible. We do it in the line of security and bodyguard work all the time. It's a process that we run to create the environment we want. Keep up on your Art of Street Smarts and you may soon be able to also.
And THIS, ...is a "way" of the "Warrior's Edge"! -Jermaine Andre'
Did this blog help you any? Our environment can affect us just like a blizzard can affect a rose. It is an important element of being street smart. Remember that my mission is to aid you not just talk to you. If what I'm presenting isn't clicking be sure to comment that to me and I will re-communicate it to you.