Research has repeatedly shown that most people respond poorly in emergencies,
giving little or no help when another person is suffering and needing help?! Why? Is
it fear for their own safety, indifference or lack of training in the proper responses?
Studies have shown that mental practice of an activity prepares you better for that
activity by giving you a better response aptitude when you actually engage in the
activity later. With crime and emotional instability increasing, sooner or later you will
be tested to react to some form of emergency situation in your life. You don't have to
respond with fear or panic, which often results in severe stress, injury or death by
Since emergencies are not always clearly labeled as such when they happen, they
can often take you by surprise. Screams from the street may signal an assault in
progress or it may be a domestic dispute. You can give a quick and more adequate
response when you curb the impulse to flare up emotionally, and your previous
mental preparation to emergencies can give you a better response aptitude when the
time comes. This exercise is designed to give you such mental preparation.
Through quick thinking and keeping a cool head in times of emergencies, you can
often produce solutions to otherwise perplexing situations.
Here are 2 such examples that actually happened:
1) A passing woman seeing a small child teeter-tottering on the edge of a high
condominium balcony, immediately gathered other passers-by and formed a living net
of arms. The child finally fell, and was saved in the nick of time.
2) An outdoorsman gathering wood away from his campsite was startled by a
snarling wolf ready to attack. The man dropped to the ground and with a small stick
began to draw a wavy line in the ground all the way back to his campsite and gun.
The wolf was so intrigued with what the man was doing that he didn't attack until it
was too late.
Ordinarily, people derive most of their potential response information about new
situations from how others around them behave. It's a rare individual who initiates
action, unless he's been trained to do so by prior preparation or experience. For
example, Kitty Genovese got stabbed to death, March 13, 1964, at 3 AM as she
returned home from work. During the 35 minute attack, 38 of her neighbors in Kew
Gardens, NY came to their apartment windows as she cried out in terror, but no one
came to her assistance! Finally at 3:50 AM, one of the neighbors called the police, but unfortunately, she was already dead on the street! Visualize yourself as one of
those neighbors for a few moments. See yourself in their shoes. What would you
want to do?
Now relax, close your eyes and visualize the following:
You are a man (woman) dressed with slip-on shoes, socks, pants, belt, shirt, hat
and you're carrying a wad of money. You're backed into a blind alley at 2 AM by a
lone attacker dressed like you, but who has a knife and says he wants your money,
and that he is going to kill you. There is nobody to hear your cries, and you are not a
martial artist, so you must think of something or you know you will be killed. Now
begin thinking of several things you could do in this situation. There are no wrong
answers, just possible options.
Afterwards, turn the page to see how your responses compare with the options on
the next page.
For an added drill, relax, close your eyes again, and think about how you would
react to the following hypothetical emergencies, if they would occur in your life.
1) Your car suddenly has no brakes, and you're traveling at 45 mph on a straight,
2) Your house is burning down, and all the people are out of it and you're watching
it as it burns. What items would you want to save first if you only had 10
minutes to act?
3) You are jailed on a mistaken identity & witness a black man being beaten to a pulp
in the next cell by 2 white officers.
Possible Options To The Alley Scene (There are no wrong answers):
1) Say to attacker that you're involved in a CIA sting operation and he's being
watched through infrared rifle scopes.
2) Say you're a cop and wired, and the money is impregnated with tracking dye, and
that he's under arrest. Talk into your wallet as if there were a microphone in it.
3) Act drunk and say someone already stole what little money you had.
4) Say you don't have to kill me, I have AIDS and will die soon anyway.
5) Say you are worth a lot more for ransom.
6) Throw the money suddenly to the side and dart to the other side and run.
7) Tell attacker that he's a movie star and is on a hidden candid camera.
8) Tell attacker your Mafia friends will find him and torture him to death.
9) Laugh hysterically and act crazy like you've snapped, jumping up and down as a
distracting surprise, then kick him in the genitals and run.
10) Act crippled or injured or sick or feeble minded and cry to get him off guard, then
throw the money to the side and run.
11) Yell in a loud, stern voice, “Come on punk, I’m going to beat you to a pulp.”
12) Say you're a witch or hypnotist and going to put an evil hypnotic spell on him.
13) Act like someone behind the man just saw you both and has run to get the cops.
14) Make a face like Dracula or a werewolf and say "I vant to drink your blood."
15) Tell him you have a secret cache of money nearby from a previous heist that he
16) Make believe you only speak another language, then throw the money one way
and run the other way.
17) Say you're a Christian and you want to save his soul from damnation.
18) Yell above you, "Don't shoot him, he's not the one we're after." Then tell him to
get lost before you change your mind and arrest him.
19) Say you're a reporter doing a story on criminals in the area, so if he kills you,
he'll lose his chance to tell his side of his story.
20) Throw your hat or money in his face, and take your belt off to whip him with it.
21) Tell him you're a minister or nun (female) and ask him to confess his sins.
22) Say, times are tough, I don't hold this robbery against you. You have to earn a
living too, then throw the money one way and run the other way.
23) Act deaf & dumb and grunt to indicate you don't understand, while throwing
your wallet to the side as a diversion, then run the other way.
24) Give him the money, but warn him you’re a martial artist so he’d better leave.