A - B R E A D C R U M B
I was home this past Monday night, at around 9:45pm, when I tasted the sound of fear.
I N C I D E N T
I was inside my home when I heard the piercing screams of a woman outside, up the street from my house. I grabbed the phone. Called 911. Cops were on the street in less than two minutes. The dispatcher later phoned me back to say that the victim, a woman, was found, she's safe, and that the incident was a strong-armed robbery. Later found out, a group of guys had come up on this female late Monday night, on my street. They strong-armed her down and stole her purse. She then screamed and chased them (bad plan!). The lady's purse was found in a neighbor's yard on Tuesday morning. But the guys were not caught.
F O L L O W - U P
That night, I decided to go to the Police station Tuesday (my first time inside of one) to simply 'thank' them for their quick response.
I also didn't miss the chance to ask, "what's the best way to protect myself." The cop said, "the best weapon is to simply pay attention. If you don't look like a victim, you likely won't become one." That's obviously not going to eliminate thugs. But it could minimize your contact. They'll steer away from you, or maybe you would be able to steer away from them. I asked about my iPod when I go for my long walks outdoors. He said, "that is not a problem, just be aware of your surroundings." Open your eyes.
Buzzword or not, each moment in our lives is a teachable moment.
After college, I worked at the front desk of a very nice hotel in the Gold Coast of Chicago. Beautiful lobby of dark green marble, Sinatra tunes, mirrors and chandeliers. Whenever people would wander in aimlessly, looking around, you instinctively would approach them and ask, "may I help you." But other folks, who walked right in, deliberately, you didn't even say a word to them. They were aware. They were intentional.
I have always been a very independent person, and I like the freedom and boldness that comes with that. But I'm not careless. I take precautions. But I am leery of mace and guns. The officer actually said to me, that those items often get used against the very person carrying them. Think about it, by even carrying mace, there's something in your energy that shifts to a vibe of, "I'm anticipating someone may attack me." And, frankly, I don't want to anticipate that. So I was happy to hear the cop's perspective.
Even in nature, an animal may not be poisonous or dangerous, but for self-preservation, it's protection is 'to appear that way.' I have a little 7lb Yorkie who often thinks he's a pit bull. And to hear his bark, sometimes you'd think he was. Even in the transitions many of us are going through with work and life these days. If you BELIEVE you will persevere, you just may be right. But if you wallow in, "oh, I don't know if things will ever work out." Well, you just may be right.
Think about it. Our thoughts are powerful. Transformative.
P A Y I N G - A T T E N T I O N
Someone needs help, a friend is hurting, or you have hurt someone, a connection has come to your life, or even ingredients that need to be added to your cooking. Subtle. Nuances. Soul-speak. To pick up on these little ripples in the ocean of our lives, we must be aware. For an artist to find purples in an orange pumpkin, he must have his eyes wide open. Expect the unexpected. Be fully open.
When our eyes are open we 'get' all of those subtle signals. Those 'breadcrumbs,' perhaps? Maybe they are confirming that we are in the right place doing the right thing. Like the House episode on TV (with the cat) that I saw Monday night just before all of this excitement... maybe the 'coincidences' in our lives are real, maybe they're not. But I just happened to be in the quiet of my home, and was able to make a 911 call practically before this poor woman had finished screaming.
I'll close with an observation at the police station that made me say, "but, of course. Of course, that's your name." In a time when law enforcement gets so much bad press, I was wrapping up my visit to say 'thank you,' when I happened to look up and notice that (off by just one letter) the name on this officer's badge was... 'Huggins.'
Open your eyes. Be aware. And keep moving forward, sweet little soul.
©2009 Wendy Hudgins