Holiday Shopping List
By Richard Liebespach
This is the time of year when lists abound; when people are thinking about turkeys and trees and family and things. It is easy at this time of year to throw a side all thoughts of your own well-being in favor of celebration and shopping. I propose that this year you add the following list to your list of shopping pleasures.
- Be alert to the colors of your surroundings.
The colors of your surroundings are the color codes of Col. Jeff Cooper. You may not be aware that you know what they are, but you are, you just don't know them by that name.
You are essentially unaware of anything going on around you. Maybe you’re fatigued, distracted by some worry, or had a bit too much wine with dinner. Regardless of the excuse, you are not ready — for anything.
You are alert but calm and relaxed, scanning your surroundings for potential threats. You know who’s in front of you, to your sides, and behind you. You don’t think anyone will make a hostile move, but you are mentally ready in case something untoward develops. Yellow should be the “default” condition for every shopper.
You recognize that something is out of the ordinary, and that the chances for violence are increasing. At this stage you note the positions of all potentially hostile individuals around you, as well as any weapons they may be able to use, in their hands or within their reach. You develop a plan for dealing with the potential hostiles, including identification of escape routes. In addition to being mentally ready, you are physically ready as well.
You are engaged in combat. Someone is assaulting you and you are reacting to the attack and defending yourself. You are taking immediate and decisive action to stop your opponent, or evade and get help.
- Park in yellow mode.
Park next to vehicles that are the same size or smaller than your own. If you drive a larger vehicle, park so that your driver's side door is closest to the door of the store. Make sure your driver's side door is visible from the door of the store. This style of parking reduces the risk of someone surprising you while you are trying to get into your vehicle, once you are done shopping. When returning to you vehicle, if you have any passing feeling or thought of something other than joy, ask someone, anyone, to accompany you to your vehicle. (That is returning to your vehicle in Orange mode.)
- Walk in Yellow mode.
Observe the people and vehicles in the parking lot between you and the door of the store. If anything looks unusual ask yourself what it is that looks unusual. Trust your intuition. It may be something worthy of your attention. Choose a path through the parking lot that will allow you to avoid vehicles that will obscure your view of the door of your vehicle. Also, avoid walking alongside of vehicles which have dark tinted windows, and do not go through groups of young people. That may sound like discrimination and that is because it is. It is wise to discriminate against situations that may do you harm. To help clarify that advise, answer this question; when was the last time you heard a group of adults looking to do harm to others? (As I ask that question, I am brought to awareness of the riots taking place in a number of our cities.) All I am asking you to do is to be circumspect in where you go and how you do it. (That is walking in Orange mode.)
- Shop in Yellow mode.
At this time there are more pick pockets, purse snatchers, car and home burglaries happening then at other times of the year. Stay out of dense crowds of people, as well as crowds of dense people. Be aware that sometimes fights start over the latest and greatest toy at the season. If you see things like that starting to form, decide what you will do if it overflows into your space. (That is shopping in Orange mode.)
- Celebrate in Yellow mode.
There is a benefit to this time of year. Celebration!
Celebration could be as simple or as elaborate as you desire. A celebration could be sharing mugs of hot chocolate with friends around a table. If your celebration takes you away from home, remember the parking and walking guidelines we discussed above. If Alcohol will be a part of your celebration, arrange for one of your party to be your designated driver. If it turns out that you do not have someone who has refrained from drinking alcohol, arrange for some alternate means of returning home. (That is celebrating in Orange mode.)
BTW - If you are interested in Podcasting, I recommend Podbean.com They have great packages and great prices and if you use promo code SPEPodbean you will get 1 month of the Unlimited Audio package free... Yes, they do give me a bit in return for your signing up. It will hep me with my expenses of producing and maintaining this podcast.