Tim Larkin post on danger, a good one
Even though the world views us as a very
violent nation we ourselves have the illusion that staying in our
neighborhoods gives us a safety zone that allows us to be rude to
By assuming we are dealing with other members of society that
cow-tow to threats of invoking the legal system on any perceived
slight some people in the US are emboldened to push their verbal
and non-verbal aggression to the max with little fear of facing a
It is funny when you see this US approach backfire in
A friend recently told me of a caustic uncle who traveled to
Corsica for a vacation. He checked into his hotel and strolled
over to the scenic marketplace to buy some fruits and nuts for
his stay. His 30-year-old daughter (who was living there) was
with him and warned him to not cross the street until the traffic
light was green.
He ignored her and promptly stepped onto the street and was
nearly run over by a nicely dressed man in an Audi A6. The uncle
ran up to the car that was now stopped at the light and started
screaming at the man with expletives flying. He then kicked the
passenger door and waved at him with 'one finger' (this 'uncle'
by the way is a 62 year old, distinguished looking attorney from
The response from the driver? He calmly got out of his car,
walked up to the now emboldened uncle (who continued to spew
invectives as the man approached) and without warning hauled off
and smashed the uncle above his upper lip with a hammer fist
(pinky side of the fist) instantly flooring the uncle and popping
out 5 of his upper teeth. The man then calmly walked back to his
Audi and drove away. By the way this was done in front of a
The police took the report but chastised the now toothless old
man saying that in Corsica we don't speak to each other that way
unless we expect to fight. His daughter knew that no effort would
be made to find the man in the Audi.
The uncle probably had responded to slights in his safe little
enclave in Connecticut like that numerous times throughout his
cantankerous life. Maybe his new dental work will be a reminder
to be more civil. He was lucky he just lost some teeth.
So now I sit here at the Madrid Airport at a café across from 2
US soldiers. How do I know they are US soldiers? No, they aren't
in uniform, nor are they dressed like Americans. If it weren't
for the fact that they both are sitting in broad daylight looking
at their US Army Service records, no one else would know they
were US servicemen either. But every passerby has taken notice of
the manila folders these two soldiers are poring over aimlessly.
I have had to bite my tongue not to chastise these young kids.
You'd think with the bombings and threats in Madrid over the past
year they'd be a bit more security conscious. I mean they could
easily blend in with their civilian dress. But they just don't
think anything could ever happen to them. It's always the other
Well, these are just 2 examples I wanted to share with you of
people needlessly exposing themselves to potential violence. In
one incident, violence occurred. The other -- so far, so good.
When traveling it's a good deal easier to see lapses in judgment
regarding personal security.
Ask yourself what risks have you taken in the last 30 days in
your little world. Leave your doors unlocked? Take a risky short
cut? Use an ATM after dark? Think a bit on that one...
Correct these and you'll go a long way to never having to use the
methods and principles I teach about "Surviving The Most Critical
5 Seconds Of Your Life".
I posted the Larkin story because it also reminds me of stuff Marc McYoung has said about people wandering across cultural lines, and not realizing that some other people will unleash a physical beating in response to a nasty verbal attack. Plus as a lawyer I can just see the uncle behaving in this way.
Man, I'd love to have seen that beatdown :)
I know plenty of places right here in the u.s. that the uncle in that story would have been shot in the face for **** like that.