There are two books that I think are a must read. They are “The Gift Of Fear” and “Protecting The Gift” by Gavin De Becker.
Both deal with the subject of learning how to use your gift of intuition and they go into great detail on issues of preventing child abduction and teaching your children how to find a stranger if, God forbid, they should ever get lost.
You see, it isn’t about telling our kids to “never talk to strangers.” What needs to be taught is, “How to pick the right kind of stranger” who will help you should the situation arise; and guess what, a security guard is a no-no.
Mr. De Becker reminds us that “the employment pool that security guards are drawn from were responsible for giving us the Son of Sam killer, John Lennon’s assassin, the Hillside Strangler, and many more serial killers and rapists than you have time to read about.”
He says, “If your child is ever lost, then teach your him/her to go to a woman.”
No. 1: Because a woman is highly unlikely to be a sexual predator, and he writes that, “a woman will commit to a child and not stop until that child is safe.”
And statistics confirm his reasoning that a woman is preferable, because a man will cross the line more often.
If this information disturbs you, remember it comes from an author who is man enough to publish that last statement knowing the importance of mentioning that fact supersedes any male rebuttal and in the long run just might save a life.
“The Gift Of Fear” deals with what is, simply put, the gift of “true fear” and, “It is a gift, because it is a survival signal that sounds only in the presence of danger.”
It is our God-given gift of intuition and by using it we can refuse to be victims. The book gives wonderful examples and anecdotal information on how to develop and use your gift.
I first learned about Gavin de Becker when he was featured in an article in USA Weekend. It was titled: “Why I Fight Abuse.”
In the article he says he first assumed the role of a parent when he was 8, a protector of his younger sister who was 4. Gavin’s mother was a heroin addict, and, he wrote, “an intelligent, funny, well-read, and a beautiful woman; nonetheless, a heroin addict.”
He and his older sister were subjected to regular beatings by their mother, and they were told repeatedly that she was going to kill them by putting on the gas stove as they slept.
So, he and his older sister modified a screen so that they could get out quickly.
He even put a box out there and practiced getting his younger sister Melissa out first. He recalls that it was his job to make sure his family got through those years alive, but after a few suicide attempts, his mother finally succeeded, when Gavin was 16.
As an adult, he was given an award for designing MOSAIC, the assessment system now used for screening threats to justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. He recalls while receiving the award from the U.S. attorney general and the director of the FBI that he says he was certain none of them realized it had been invented by a 10-year-old boy.
He said that the way he broke down the individual elements of violence as a child was what became the way the most artificial-intuition systems are used to predict violence today.
His “ghosts had become his teachers.”
How many of us have experienced that? To some extent I can relate to him.
I have often said that I became an adult at the age of 11. The day my mom and dad separated.
My mom had a penchant for not locking the doors at night and a couple of the doors leading to the backyard had broken locks. I’ll give her a slight pass since it was the 1970s.
But I was the one who stayed up waiting for her to fall asleep. I would then put the broom handles I had collected in the area that was between the door and the handle to secure it.
I would also make sure that the windows were secure, and I also put window blockers in the area to ensure that those stayed closed.
In the original article about Gavin, it shows a photo of him and his sister. He looks to be about 8, his eyes are innocent, and you can see that there is a sense of the “weight of the world” on his young shoulders.
And it is something that I was drawn to. To see his face, to read his story, made me think about how he rose above the hardships and is widely regarded as a leading expert on the protection of public figures.
I even wrote a letter to him and sent him my copy of his book: “Protecting The Gift.” I was hoping he would sign it for me.
He did, and the way he inscribed the book was quite special. He wrote: “For Jennifer — with Thanks, for the…”
And then he took the pen and drew a line to the next page and circled the word “Gift” and hand wrote, “of your support — Gavin De Becker.”
Ah, Mr. De Becker, you are most welcome, but for me I thank you for your insight and wisdom, for that is the true gift!
Jennfer Danny is a Santa Clarita resident.