Last week I was away on a business trip (again), and I have another one in 2 weeks. Good thing I know how to travel in style.
Anyhoo, my work friend C and I were walking back to my hotel after a fancy schmancy company dinner. We stopped near the front entrance that happened to be next to a large open plaza.
I was telling C about an amazing book I had just read, when her eyes focused on something over my shoulder.
I turned to see a 20-something man yelling at a young woman sitting on bench.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I think he just hit her,” C said.
I whipped back around to see the man stalking away. The woman looked after him for a moment and then touched her cheek. She looked distraught.
“Really?” I couldn’t believe it. What type of person would slap someone in public?
We debated about whether we should ask the woman if she was OK but decided not to say anything.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw another couple snuggling up against a nearby column.
“We need to get out of here!” C yelped.
She hurriedly walked away and explained that the new couple wasn’t cuddling. The woman had shoved the man into the column, and it was now obvious that they were arguing.
We were surrounded by crazy people!
I quickly said goodbye to C, and she headed for her bus stop. My head was spinning as I entered the hotel and rode the elevator up to my floor.
What a strange night, and stranger still, the book I was telling C about was The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.
This book is about recognizing the fear we feel when there are dangerous people and situations in our lives. By seeing fear as a gift instead of ignoring our instincts, we can protect ourselves from those who mean us harm.
I admit that I’m a little late to the party. The Gift of Fear was published about 15 years ago. You may remember Gavin de Becker on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
There have been times in my life when I’ve felt fear but didn’t know why. Something told me to not get into a certain subway car or to cross the street when I spotted a stranger walking towards me.
Of course, sometimes I shrug off my fear as being paranoid. But I’ll never discount my fears again after reading this book. Your mind can pick up clues that you might not be fully aware of, and that subconscious knowledge could save your life.
Have you read The Gift of Fear?
Has your fear ever kept you safe?