In his book, No Second Chance, Mark Hatmaker talks about gazelles scouting out escape routes at the watering hole before they settle down to drink. He then suggests that we, as human beings, do the same with the places we frequent. Keep in mind that he sees the good citizens of the world as prey animals in comparison to the beasts that perpetrate such crimes as described in his predator profiles. Whether it is your place of work, your home, restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, or whatever places you frequent, it only takes a few minutes of your time to make an assessment that could save your life. He says it is not paranoia, and I have to agree. It never hurts to plan for worst case scenario, yet continue to live positively in each moment of your life.
You can practice this by taking note or even writing down information about the places you visit often. How many exits do you see, and where are they located? If it is a food establishment, can you determine whether there is an exit from kitchen? What else do you notice about the layout that may help or hinder your departure in case of emergency?
Something else I want to mention about the book is an interesting discussion on running from danger. He advocates flight whenever it is an option. You only fight when you absolutely cannot flee. One thing about flight is that if you are in a crowd, it will encourage others to do the same. He explains that humans are often sheep-like in a crowd, and if one person initiates some kind of response to a situation, others will often follow suit:
“If one individual, in a threatening situation, makes a movement toward escape, the herd begins to ripple with like-minded activity.”
He argues that it is the very best thing you could do as Joe Random citizen, is to make the decision not to freeze and to run, even though at first blush it may not seem like the most heroic thing to do. But if there is no way to avoid fighting a threat, then you must fight, and others will probably follow suit, as well. For instance, you might find yourself in this kind of situation on an airplane. Kind of hard to run at 30,000 feet.
He always provides interesting food for thought and thinks of things from a different perspective. I am really looking forward to his bootcamp in May!