Monday, January 5, 2009

If It Seems Odd... probably is. We Humans get signals all the time, but most of us ignore them in lieu of our rational thoughts. But, our rational thoughts aren't what is needed when it comes to keeping us safe. It's the voice inside, the hairs on the back of your neck, it's your intuition that keeps you alive in odd circumstances. And, you need to learn to pay attention.

Yesterday, I was involved in helping one of our home owners deal with a theft at their house. As this is a second home for them, there was no one harmed. But, their security was robbed all the way in California. It's a shame.

We've had incidents before. Last summer there was a rash of car break-ins. Well, not actually break-ins, the cars doors were open so the thieves just helped themselves. But, now the thieves who are watching us, have become more bold and are entering houses. This is a serious, escalating problem. And, we're allowing it. Sorry to say.

The house had a security system; it didn't seem to be armed. So, whoever, knew exactly what they wanted and where it was located. And, took it with ease. Again- we made it easy.

When alerting a neighbor close to the house in question, sympathetically she said, "What are people supposed to do? They aren't even here most of the time. And, you can tell. Just the other day, there was another newspaper thrown up on the roof the porch and they aren't here to take care of that sort of thing..."

"Wait," I say, "Do you mean that's happened before?!" She replies, "Oh yeah, it happened once before that I saw." Okay. That's enough. Something like that happening once might be a random occurrence. The Tribune Review delivery guy could have developed freakishly strong arms and decided to test them out. But, more than that??? Not a coincidence. Nothing that odd is a random event. We'd be better served to consider it a warning.

My thinking is that the paper on the roof was a test- if it comes down off the roof right away, it indicates that people are there. After all, who leaves a paper up on their roof?! If it stays there for days, then it's obvious that it's a safe target. Or, it may have been the signal to let the robber know which house was the one to hit. Whether I'm right or wrong makes no difference. It's time to start observing with intention.

Part of becoming a solid neighborhood is being vigilant. Not nervous, not over reactive, just vigilant. ALL of us need to be vigilant. We are our neighbors' keeper. And, if you want to have a sense of security in your own home, you must share the weight of being aware, involved, and noticeable.

How many times a day do you watch out your windows just to observe what's going on? What's moving about? What cars seem to come and go? This isn't being nebbie...this is being tuned-in to your surroundings.

None of us wants to be held prisoner in our houses. We have jobs, social lives, chores, errands to run, times when we will be away. But, how much do your immediate neighbors know about your comings and goings? Do you keep each other informed?

For that matter, to whom have you given the key to your house? Which neighbor do you rely on when you can't be there? None? To me, that's a problem. One of your friend/neighbor's should have a key. You should be able to count on each other for that sort of back up and help.

But, you have to trust in order to have that. You have to be willing to get involved with each other more than an occasional chat at an event or across the yard on a summer evening. You have to know each other.

We're being targeted by less than honorable people who know that we keep to ourselves and aren't always in our homes. We can lock doors and arm security systems. But, I'm promising you, that won't be as effective as becoming a solid neighborhood; one where outsiders know we care for and about each other. It's your neighbors who help you from being victimized.

It's time for us to make these bad guys go look elsewhere for easier targets. We do that by being a unified group of neighbors and friends who have each other's interest at heart. We aren't tenants- we're invested owners! Time to put criminals on notice. We don't tolerate this nonsense here... Are you a good neighbor? Are you your neighbors' keeper? Are you willing to help keep your neighborhood safe and secure?

Namaste' Till Next Time,

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