Erin Go Bragh

Kiss-Me-Im-Irish

As green day approaches, lets take a moment to talk about awareness and safety!

  1. Pack light! Whether doing the pub crawl or visiting a house party, bring only your drivers license (or a designated driver!), a few bucks in your pocket and your cell phone.
  2. Beware of pick pockets and other hoodlums if attending a parade (situational awareness is the key here).
  3. If you are the designated driver (DD) be aware of those that are swaying around you, either in a vehicle or on foot!
  4. Consider public transportation.
  5. Avoid being alone, use the buddy system.
  6. Don’t drink on an empty stomach, eat and drink lots of water before and during the festivities
  7. Don’t EVER leave a drink unattended!
  8. Find the phone number of a reputable taxi company before you go out, just in case.

These are just a few pointers.

Have a great time and stay safe out there!!

Self Awareness Before Self Defense

432c35f99ce667a4f268abb9b0397e23While I am a huge proponent to having the physical ability to defend yourself, I have found that if you are “aware” the chances of being involved in a physical confrontation drops dramatically. Although it can be a fine line between “awareness” and “paranoia” to some people, even adopting some of the following will strengthen your personal security.

Begin your journey of “situational awareness” by regarding yourself and your immediate family members as a “secure area”. For your area to be secure, you need to implement awareness of a 360 degree perimeter at all times (or as often as possible). This means that as you go about your normal activities try to be attentive to what is going on all around you. If you do this you will be in a better position to react to a problem before it is too late.

Here are a few simple examples of how to increase awareness that can easily fit into every day life :

1. When driving, never be trapped in a center lane, use an outside lane if possible and scan what is going on as far in front, behind and side to side as you can. This will increase your readiness if an emergency should arise.

2. When dining, pick a table near an exit where you can view the entrance and be aware of who comes in and what they do.

3. When returning to your car, have your key ready and approach your car from an angle so that you can see around most of it. Only unlock the doors and enter the car when you feel safe. Once inside, lock the doors and leave. Do not remain in your vehicle checking texts, email, etc.

4. Human nature and its curiosity can sometimes get the best of us when witnessing a confrontation, we sometimes to want to see what is going on. Don’t stick around! It is always best to leave the area as soon as possible., and get help.

Any confrontation, from a dissatisfied customer at a retail store, to shouting parents at their kids’ sporting event, can quickly and unreasonably escalate into dangerous situation, especially In todays world. Stay vigilant about your awareness and you will decrease your chances of being caught in a bad spot.

Next time I will give you my list of rules for living safer!

Cheers!

Dan

Tough Decisions

“The liquid burns your innocent throat as it slowly makes its way from the bottle to the inside of your sober mouth. The first swig is tough, the second also does not come with ease, but with each swig the sting decreases along with your judgment. Your vision becomes blurry, your stride is not so steady and your mind is far from clear. You look around yourself and notice that most of your friends are in the same state as you are, if not worse. The party has died down and most of your fellow partiers are now coupled away in the bedroom or heaping heavily over a guest room toilet. You have come to the conclusion that everyone has had enough to drink, or maybe even a little too much.

roadview

Your thoughts, as you applied your make up prior to the party, was to simply have a good time and come home safely. Your thoughts now, inebriated and short of judgment, are scattered so far across your brain that even you can’t tell what they are. The only thing you are thinking of currently is getting home. As the thought of your comfortable bed dances through your brain, your car keys begin to tease you from inside your purse. They invite you to insert them in the car ignition and press your right foot to the gas; bring everyone to their beds. You know that this is a bad idea, although at the time it seems to be the easiest, but when is the easiest decision ever the best? No one wants to wait for a cab, no one wants to pay for a cab and conclusively, none of your friends want to even take cab. You are the most clear headed out of all your friends, although you really are not clear headed at all. It seems a unanimous vote has taken place, and the winner is you, you need to drive everyone home. Hey, you’re only a few blocks from home anyway, right?

You elude the thoughts in your head that encourage you to call home and tell your parents that you need to be picked up. You are scared of the consequences that they may implement if they were to find out you are stranded and drunk at a party. What you are not clearly thinking about enough, however, is the consequences that you may face if you drive while drunk. At first the idea of driving everyone home seems completely ridiculous, you have had way too much to drink and driving your car is just completely out of the question. You decide to call a cab and are put on hold for quite some time, how annoying this all seems to be. As the line holds, the idea of drunk driving rapidly becomes more and more appealing to you. Your stomach is hurting, your head is pounding and all you want to do is collapse onto your bed in the comfort of your own home. Your brain suggests that you call your parents, they always said to call them in an emergency,  but is this really an emergency? Calling your parents is just out of the question entirely; partying, drinking, and boys were not on the agenda you told your dad earlier this evening. Your friends are becoming ill beside you as your phone is still on hold; you become increasingly anxious and unsure of what to do. You begin to regret the drinking that you embarked on earlier and realize that this night was not thought through enough. You are frustrated and annoyed; before you even realize it, you’re on the highway, foot on the pedal and hazy eyes on the road in front of you….”

Everyone, at one point in their lives or another, adults included, think to themselves that nothing can happen to them. One commonality of the human condition, is that at times we believe that we are invincible. Most human beings prefer to be in control of things. For example, many people are afraid of flying. This would seem to be due to the fact that you are suspended in a large object and flying above solid ground, tens of thousands of feet in the air. For some, this is the reason that people are afraid of flying; but for the vast majority, what people are really scared of, is the lack of control over their lives. Many individuals would be completely comfortable flying thousands of feet above solid ground, if they were the ones in the cockpit. This relates to drunk driving in the sense that many people, especially teenagers, falsely believe that while being drunk they still have enough control to operate a moving vehicle. Warning to everyone who has a pulse on this planet; you are not “Superman” and you cannot drive anything while drunk!

Young adults are faced with tough decisions every day. They need support to make these decisions because it is not always easy to make healthy choices and it is especially difficult when you are young. We young people need the support and knowledge of those who have lived longer. Our parent’s mistakes not only to help them grow, but to help us grow. Teenagers should not be afraid to talk to their parents!!! I believe that I can speak for all parents, when I say that if you are drunk and at a party, call for help no matter how “grounded” you think you could be; whether it is a parent, a grandparent or even an older sibling, just call. Every twenty-two minutes a person is killed in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident! (FirstEagle.com). If there is one thing that I have learned, as cheesy as it may sound, it is that your parents are your number one friends; they will have your back whenever you need it, they will pick you up when you are down lower then you ever thought possible and they will love you through even the worst of mistakes. The one thing your parents cannot do, is help you grow if you are dead. Drunk driving will not only kill you, but it can kill any other person on the road or in the car with you.

“You are driving steadily, for what it seems like a couple minutes. Your friends are loudly laughing in the backseat and you are having a hard time focusing. Your head is throbbing uncontrollably and you are beginning to swerve on the icy roads that lead to your house. As you turn around to tell your friends to be quiet, you feel an outrageous spark of pain and suddenly, everything becomes blank. The next time you open your eyes, you’re staring at a broken and blood spattered windshield. You painfully turn around, feeling each of your ribs grind against each other with extreme discomfort. It is at this moment that you begin to weep at the sight of your permanently silenced friends in the backseat of your now crumbled car”.

-ARC