Hello. I am Larry Nocella, aka, the Beanie Copter Philosopher. I write a lot about any topic that moves me. I've written some novels - they're on Amazon. They deal mostly with characters living with the injustice of a cruel world and fighting back. I hope to blog here about books and many other things.
The Katrina Contract
The Gift of Fear is fantastic. I recommend it for everyone. It’s information we all need, because we all can use some training in caring for our own safety. Now as I say that, in American culture, safety is often followed soon after by “go buy a gun” but this book focuses on a tool you already possess, so there’s no need to subsidize blood-soaked gun manufacturers.
The tool this book helps you use is your intuition, a hard-to-define aspect of the mental capacities you were born with. In guiding you through this neglected talent we all have, De Becker sounds like a Zen master sometimes. His primary advice is simple: listen to yourself. When your gut tells you something is dangerous, you are almost certainly in trouble.
Over and over he reminds readers to develop their intuition and learn to analyze it. That nagging feeling may be noting something indirectly, but the worst you can do is ignore it. He insists you have the power of keeping yourself safe and the answers are within. For a book grounded in the primal world of physical force, it is surprisingly calm and spiritual. Learning to listen to yourself and giving your intuition and feelings value in your decision-making process will benefit not just your safety, but your mental health and happiness as well.
Women especially should read this, as they are too often instructed to just deal with situations that they dislike. They are (more than men) encouraged to silence their sharp intuition. The only criticism I have is the book is a bit long. I would love it if Mr. de Becker sold a simplified shorter version. Perhaps even a version for children. (He may already and if so, great.)
The book also challenges many clichés regarding violence, safety and mental health. For example, when listing activities indicative of precursors to violence, De Becker doesn’t mention video games or music as the source of all evil, as many professional anger merchants do. He notes the danger isn’t so much the content of a media diet but rather if that diet is so relentless that it eliminates all human contact.
De Becker also ends up debunking and criticizing gun mythology occasionally, not as a direct attack, but just as a side effect of stating facts and being logical. His one general comment that, “by focusing on what could happen you’re neglecting what is actually happening,” serves as a one and done counter-argument to the “we need guns to protect our freedom” meme.
Despite the length of the book, and its occasionally dry writing, I encourage everyone to read The Gift of Fear and share its lessons. The book isn’t entertainment, it’s information, but it ends up being compelling reading just because it’s so empowering.
De Becker also reveals a few details about his life, his experiences with violence as a child and how he came to be an expert in the field of personal safety. It’s a remarkable story that would make a great biography book or film as well. He works with many of Hollywood’s stars to protect them against stalkers and the like, so hopefully that will happen someday.
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