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Why and how should you become more aware of your surroundings?

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When people are aware of their surroundings, especially in dangerous environments, they will have better chances of avoiding criminal encounters. If, for example, the hearing of apartment residents is compromised by their MP3 players, and if they are visually distracted because they are reading their mail, they might get into apartment elevators that are already carrying dangerous people that they could have avoided by being more alert.

When people in dangerous environments are distracted, criminals can be invisible until it is too late to avoid dangerous encounters with them. This video demonstrates the power of distraction.

It is important for everyone to maximize visual awareness of their surroundings. Looking downward not only signals pedestrians’ submissiveness to nearby predators, but also cancels out almost all awareness of pedestrians’ nearby environment.

Tunnel vision fixates attention on what could be a distraction, and makes everyone more vulnerable than they would be if they practiced 360 degree, radar type awareness. For example, when pedestrians look only straight ahead, they are aware of only a small vector of their surroundings. Even if they also look straight behind them, they might not notice predators following them from the other side of the street or criminals coming out of dark doorways.

Everyone should practice not only 360 degree, radar type awareness of their immediate surroundings, but also should be aware of their more distant surroundings. Criminals can close distances quickly. Since darkness limits distance awareness, everyone should avoid dark environments at night. Also, everyone can partially avoid dark street doorway dangers by walking near the street.

Everyone also should be aware of the sounds in potentially dangerous environments. Such awareness can be compromised by other sounds such as those made by cars or trains. Predators even have been known to match the footstep tempo of their prey so that the sounds of their prey’s footsteps cancel out the sounds of the predator's footsteps. When the sense of hearing is compromised, everyone should depend more upon their sense of sight, or vice versa.

Everyone also should respect their sixth sense. Too many people have ignored their sixth sense warnings and needlessly have become crime victims.

Everyone could increase awareness of their surroundings by playing a game. While playing it, they strive to become aware of their surroundings. Then, if anyone nearby ever is not detected and startles the game player, an analysis should be made to determine why this lapse occurred.

What are your thoughts on awareness?

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