Beware the Ides of March

“Beware the Ides of March” is a phrase and a date in history that will forever be associated with the assassination of Julius Caesar. Apparently Caesar had received a warning from his soothsayer telling him to “beware the Ides of March.” I’m not a huge fan of soothsayers, but obviously this one knew what he was talking about, because he accurately predicted the demise of Caesar on March 15th, otherwise known as the Ides of March. 

Hmmm, perhaps Caesar should have listened to his soothsayer and implemented a few precautions. I’m not suggesting that he would still be alive today, but it does make you wonder what would have happened and how the course of history may have changed if he used his awareness and paid more attention to both his surroundings and who his friends were, just in case. 

“Beware the Ides of March” has forever instilled a sense of foreboding on March 15th. And since tomorrow is March 15th, I decided to pass along a few simple safety tips so we don’t have to beware, but be aware instead. Not only on March 15th, but the rest of the year as well. 

1). Heads up.

A distracted person is an easy target. Please, please, please put away your cell phones. They belong in your purse, pocket or backpack, not in your hand stealing your attention from your surroundings. So please, I am begging you….put away your cell phones, especially when you are walking in a parking lot or any public place.

2). Expand your world.

Always notice who (and what) is behind you and on either side of you as well as in front of you at all times, but especially when entering a room or any new environment. If I had a dollar for every woman I have seen stepping onto the elevator in my office building while they were staring down at their phone instead of looking to see who they were getting on an elevator with, I would be a very wealthy woman today. Instead, I am a sad one, because walking into a small enclosed space with no escape route without first seeing who you’re getting on with is not only a bad idea, it’s a dangerous one as well. 

While we’re on the subject of enclosed spaces, always make a mental note of where the exits are; you never know when you might need to make a quick escape, for whatever reason.

3). Make eye contact.

Make eye contact and say hello. Yes, even to strangers. As a matter of fact, especially to strangers. Those are the people you want to let know that you are paying attention. Remember, a distracted person is an easy target, and that’s what the bad guys are looking for. So, look everyone in the eye and smile. Not only is it a great safety practice, you might even make a few new friends along the way.

4). Listen to your inner voice.

If something doesn’t feel right to you, listen to your intuition and remove yourself from the situation immediately. Remember tip number two and know where all of the exits or escape routes are ahead of time so you can make a quick and seamless get-away. I call it the ninja disappearing act. After all, you can’t be harmed if you aren’t there. So, make like a ninja and hide.

5). Play with training awareness.

Turn the practice of training awareness into a game to play with your children and grandchildren. It’s a great way to teach them about personal safety in a safe, non-threatening way as you improve your awareness at the same time. 

6). Educate yourself.

Knowledge is power, and the more you know about personal safety, the more empowered you become.

I just can’t help but wonder how the course of history may have changed if Caesar had taken a few of these simple precautions (except for the part about the cell phones and the elevator). We can all benefit from taking precautions regarding our personal safety without being afraid or paranoid. We don’t have to beware, we just have to pay attention to ourselves, our surroundings, and our relationships. 

So, be aware the Ides of March. Oh, and have a fun, safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day as well. You might want to use your new-found awareness to be on the lookout for those leprechauns. Be safe, healthy, and aware!