A Ninja is and always must be aware and in tune with their surroundings. We train ourselves to be in constant “yellow condition” of mental alertness (if you are not familiar with this term it is from Jeff Cooper’s Combat Mindset), relaxed but alert, knowing you may have to defend yourself this day. Always scanning the crowd and your surroundings for a potential threat, not to be paranoid but to be aware and prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect oneself or loved ones.
Yet, with the onslaught of distractions today, phones, ipads, Kindles, ipods, sounds, lights etc it is easy to miss what is going on around you. How many times have you witnessed someone texting as they are walking down the street, while people around them are trying to avoid them as they are in their own world. Just do a quick search on you tube or google for various videos of individuals falling into an open manhole, or falling into a fountain all while they were texting on a phone. I love watching people as they pull up to a stop light and pick up the phone and start texting, as if calling isn’t bad enough as a distraction, lets text to!
So why am I, on such a rant about awareness and distractions, well read the following article from the Associated Press:
“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The man drew the gun several times on the crowded San Francisco commuter train, with surveillance video showing him pointing it across the aisle without anyone noticing and then putting it back against his side, according to authorities.
The other passengers were so absorbed in their phones and tablets they didn’t notice the gunman until he randomly shot and killed a university student, authorities said.
Before that moment, footage showed the man pull out the .45-caliber pistol and once wipe his nose with the hand holding the weapon, authorities told the San Francisco Chronicle in a story on Monday.
“These weren’t concealed movements – the gun is very clear,” District Attorney George Gascon said. “These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They’re just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They’re completely oblivious of their surroundings.”
So what does this say my friends? To me it is just another sad occurrence that demonstrates who oblivious people are or can be. I have seen a lot in my times, drug raids, muggings, DUI or OUI, accidents etc, but in almost every case I was aware that something was wrong or at the least not right and took actions to prevent myself or others from being another victim, living Zanshin(relaxed alertness). In the ancient days of the Samurai and Ninja, this was a means of survival, but in the modern day it seems to be almost non-existent.
Cultivate Awareness, Live in Zanshin