Feb 152015

Up at 3 a.m.. Wind howling outside, zero wind chill. Safe and warm in here…well, that’s a good thing. If the power goes out, we do have an escape plan–by car. In this life, often you do need an escape plan, when things start to fall apart, outside or inside. Life is full of unpredictables, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. You must stay strong at the center of yourself in order to deal with them. You must be aware of your surroundings in order to deal with the unexpected.

During the period of my life that I refer to as the pre-homeless period, I was mugged one time in inner city Springfield, MA. I was walking along, carrying a bag of possessions (including some client files from work, definitely a no-no) when I was attacked from behind by a small group of teens. They roughed me up, dragged me into an alley, took my money, and the files ended up scattered all over the ground and inside a dumpster. Crazy, irresponsible behavior on my part, because I was in la-la land, unaware of my surroundings, making some poor decisions. Not to excuse their thuggish behavior, of course.

You have to be prepared for the unexpected in this life. I am not saying paranoid. But perhaps it would be best to say, you must be MINDFUL of both internal and external reality, in order to stay safe, even survive, in some instances. I am not saying you should be untrusting of every stranger who comes along. I am saying you must exercise a reasonable degree of caution, and always have in the back of your mind an escape plan, if things should go north, or south, as the case may be.

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