Chamber of Commerce Luncheon


Yesterday we gave a self-defense talk for a great group of women, the 1818 Club, of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.  Special thanks to everyone who attended, and our host, Lisa.  We did not prepare a canned speech because we wanted to hear their questions and concerns regarding personal safety, and they did have several.  I always struggle a bit with these kinds of short meetings because I want to tell people EVERYTHING I possibly can about the subject.  There is simply not enough time.  We did say a lot about awareness, which truly helps us avoid bad situations over 90 percent of the time.  Hopefully we got everyone thinking, though some individuals were already on top of things and had interesting habits and rituals they practiced.  I did leave feeling concerned about others, though maybe our conversations made them take another look at themselves.


I found it kind of interesting that several of them brought up the issue of their “clueless” children (some teenagers, some pre-teen, and some in their 20s), though many of these same women practiced vigilance daily.  Some of their kids had even admonished them for being “paranoid” or “rude”; getting off an elevator to avoid potential danger makes Mom downright “offensive”—why would she do that?  I am quite curious about this mentality; I hear about it fairly regularly, along with the complaint that these kids possess little mental toughness.  I cannot help but wonder where the breakdown is occurring.  Are there just too many distractions, or too many things vying for our attention that we are losing the ability to be aware?  Are we desensitized and culturally conditioned towards ADD?  Are we all insulating ourselves from subtle cues that provide insight and aid us in accurately predicting human behavior because we are nearly surgically attached to our electronic devices?  Many people now prefer texting to phone conversation.  Heck, I’ve seen people text each other while sitting side by side.  I am guilty, too.  I use email a lot in place of telephone calls.  I have noticed that so much valuable information in the communication process is lost in our methods of interfacing because we simply cannot observe body language.  I don’t mean to get on my soapbox and go on a tirade against modern conveniences, but there has to be some explanation for the all-too-common disconnect between people and their surroundings.  Do you suppose we would all notice more and see more reason for caution if we unplugged just for a bit? 


We need to find a way to impress upon our youth, without paralyzing them with fear, that there is a “dark” side to the human psyche; most of us are not keen on knowing anything about it, or even acknowledging the potential within us all to commit violence against each other.  Luckily, the majority of the population has inhibitory safeguards in place to prevent them from acting upon this potential, but there are aberrations within the gene pool!  There will always be the anomaly that preys upon other human beings.  Sad. . .but true.  Denial will not help our little ones, and it is our collective responsibility to help them see the light, or rather, the dark.


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