The truth is, as I consider the human race, it seems very few of us ever delve deeply enough into a few basic tenants of life. Epicurus adeptly stated one such tenant, of which I am very fond. It goes as follows:
“Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.”
These words ring as true as any ever produced on the human condition. Ironically, if you live in a digital, first world economy, many of the ways in which one might have been self sufficient in the past have been all but usurped by the abundance and convenience of the ever-changing flow of capitalism – where capital and ingenuity flow into newly forming spaces of need or want. In other words, consumers/citizens no longer must hunt or farm for food, and the potential for such a need is small going forward. Once scarce needs enumerated across Maslow’s Hierarchy are now easily accessible to the average person in the digital, mega-economies of the world.
While nearly all of the basic needs have been met by the power and continuing promise of economic freedom, the need for security (despite the many innovations designed to create such security) has not been addressed in ways that other basic needs have been effectively addressed. This phenomenon is, I believe, a result of the fact that security is a personal issue, requiring personal responsibility and commitment. Consider this thought, no amount of mace, OC spray, edged weapons, handguns or ammunition can protect you from a lack of situational awareness. Once under physical attack, no amount of weaponry is likely to protect you. What people lack (or ignore) is the basic understanding that personal safety is personal – you’re on your on. The police can’t get to you in time, and bystanders or neighbors are statistically unlikely to help (or know how to help).
No matter the time or place, no matter the technology or innovation, at some point people will have to recognize that their personal safety is an individual issue that must be solved by each individual. Training, awareness, and presence aren’t found in the digital space. In the final analysis, to be self-sufficient one must be prepared to enter the world of physical violence – that takes training across the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions at a minimum. And, no app or program can ever do that for you. Only commitment, effort, awareness, and a ever-growing personal strength will provide the formula for increased personal safety.
So, if you’re in a Krav Maga program, keep training, train harder, and push yourself. If you’re considering a self-defense program, do your research well – both in terms of the system and the instructional staff – and begin making your world safer today.
I have read about the importance of this idea many times before—situational awareness, but never so well written and in such good context. I plan to share this article with some of my “sheep mentality/bad things won’t happen to me” friends and family and hopefully it will put this idea into better perspective for them to take personal safety into their own hands a little more. Thanks for the very well written article Chief Kirk!