Personal Safety: Your “Six O’ Clock”- Keeping it simple

Who's Back There?I remind all my daughters time and again: “Cover your six!”

Your “six o’clock” is a term that comes from the military, describing the blind spot just behind you. In the military, as in life, it’s vital to know what’s going on in your “six” at all times.

Improving your level of awareness of your surroundings, including your “six,” does not have to be complicated.

As with any other learned skill, fundamentals make all the difference.

Here’s an example:

Recently, I took my daughters shopping in the city on a busy Saturday.

All I asked them to do was to be sure to look left and right when they left a store. They exchanged an exasperated look that said, “Yes, Dad, we know!!”

So I decided to take the lesson from theory to reality.

I asked them to stand on the sidewalk with me and simply observe people exiting a very popular fashion store.

Seeing is believing. We observed, at most, one in ten people looking left and right as they left the store. The rest just turned and walked, the direction they didn’t go in now becoming the “six.”

We also observed women exiting the store absolutely oblivious of some questionable characters who just happened to be walking by, and by virtue of timing, ended up right behind them.

We watched as they walked the entire block without once checking behind them.

Not only were they were oblivious of the guys behind them, they were also oblivious that the sketchy guys went into the same store as them, right after they did.

Instead of preaching and dictating, I just asked my daughters the question: “Would you want to or not want to know that guy was behind you when you left the store?”

They got the message loud and clear. They got to see how vulnerable THEY would be if they didn’t look both ways as did the 40-odd other people we observed during this little exercise.

Lesson learned.

Don’t preach. Just demonstrate.

– Larry Kaminer

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