GO APE

Awareness Preparation Execution

Today I’m writing about Awareness.

Awareness is not paranoia.  Awareness is about not only one’s immediate surroundings but greater issues in society and the world.

Some groups of people for whom Awareness is potentially life-saving, use a color code to focus their attention on HOW Aware they are at any particular moment. The colors may change but the idea is the same. Here’s one example:

  • White – Unconscious; sleeping, drugged, knocked out…unable to respond to threat(s), danger, violence, etc.
  • Yellow – Not entirely present; how many people drive, walk, interact with their environment, distracted
  • Orange – Present; actively scanning, interpreting, evaluating, taking note, anticipating threats based on conscious and subconscious inputs
  • Red – Danger recognized; visible weapon, erratic or threatening behaviors, possibly only moments to respond
  • Black – Action is taken; life or death, win or lose, success or failure

When on White, you need to ensure that you are safe and/or protected. Falling asleep while sunbathing in the park has potential consequences, one of which is a sunburn!

Have you ever driven from one place to another without really remembering the entire trip?  Missed an exit from being “spaced out”?  You were on Yellow. While we usually survive this state, we sometimes don’t.  Walking down the street looking at the cell phone, being distracted while talking on Bluetooth, all demonstrate not being present to your activity or environment.

Orange is the preferred state for successful and rewarding interaction with the world.  You are taking in information and clues that are all around you.  You are automatically scanning for traffic, erratic behaviors, environmental dangers, and social cues.  You are taking note of exits, possible cover and concealment, objects that can be used as weapons, and are listening to your hunches.

When you go to Red, you have either consciously or subconsciously recognized an imminent threat.  You see a weapon, someone is coming at you in assault mode, a traffic situation is about to go wrong, your hunch screams at you. The time has come to take action.  Your action can take a multitude of forms, but only a small number of those possible actions will be the “right” ones. Maybe less than a second to decide. (Training can help with this.)

Black is lights out, the sh*t has hit the fan, you are under attack and the action you have taken will determine whether you and possibly those with you will survive or not.  This is the life or death moment.  Win or lose you are at 100% and committed to the chosen action. No guarantees, only maximum effort.

Being Aware, on Orange, is not an onerous condition.

Actually, it can be kind of fun.  Your brain is stimulus hungry.  It shuts down when there isn’t any active input.  Your primitive brain is still processing all your sensory inputs and will send a signal if “something is not right.” However, your ‘higher’ brain likes looking for patterns, finding irregularities, strangeness, and does this well.  So, let it!

Enjoy it as a game. Play the “what if” game. Challenge yourself to look for exits when entering a room, ask, “What if I heard shots right now, is there cover? Concealment? An escape route?”  “What if that person coming towards me gives me a shkeevy feeling, or assaults me?”, what are some options?  “What if I see someone hanging out around my car in the parking lot?”, what would I do?

It’s amazing how much there is to see.  More often than any danger will be interesting things to see and opportunities to help others.

What to do when a Red condition comes along, is improved by Training and Preparation.  That will be the theme of next week’s blog.  Stay tuned!

Brian Dillon 3/24/17

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