I read this phrase in an A. J. Cronin book long ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since: “what the eye does not see, the heart does not long for.” Basically it means that if no one can see the packages or iPad or top-of-the-line cell phone, etc. in your car or house or whatever–they won’t be tempted to break in and take them.
I’ve observed so many women who leave their open purses in their shopping carts while they wander off to look for something several steps away. Or people who leave their bags of Christmas gifts sitting in the front seat of their unoccupied vehicle, their car keys in the ignition (sometimes with the doors unlocked!), or, in the case of the Crankee Yankee (my husband), leave their wallet and cell phone sitting in the console right out in front of God and everyone. (I don’t know if this means he has an unshakeable faith in people’s honesty or that he just doesn’t care. More likely, he just plain forgets–which is why I’ve turned into the Reminder Police; ‘did you pick up your wallet, where’s your cell, do you have your hat,’ etc.)
These days we can’t leave anything we care for out in the open because we are only going to be gone ‘for a minute.’ Sometimes a minute is all it takes for someone to take your stuff or drive off with your car. I know, I know–it’s a sad commentary about the times that we can’t trust anyone anymore, but there it is; thefts and break-ins happen all the time. I grew up in a time where people rarely locked their doors at night, and, if you left something out on your porch in the evening, it would still be there in the morning. Those days are gone, baby–gone.
Strangely, these times have not made a lot of us any smarter about vigilance. I’ve said and written this more times than I can count, but here it is again: if you are walking/jogging/running/biking, etc. wearing headphones or earbuds, YOU ARE NOT BEING VIGILANT. Whatever you’re listening to is a distraction, and that means you’re not paying full attention to where you are and who and what is around you. You may think that you’re perfectly aware of everything, but just listening to music, talk radio, motivational lectures and so on distracts you to a degree that you are lulled into a false sense of security. Save all that for the gym; don’t do it when you’re outside and alone. Also, when you are driving, always lock your doors–always.
The same goes for home security. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend big bucks on a security system; that’s your choice. But just doing what used to be called “common sense” things [sadly, these days common sense is no longer common] such as these:
- Locking your door and windows at night and when you are not in the house
- When you are not in your house, leave a TV or radio on so it appears that someone is home
- Leave a few lights on if you are out after dark, and don’t leave the same ones on each time–change it up
- Try not to be too predictable in your habits. Example, if you always park your car facing the house, back in it now and then
- Let a neighbor you trust watch your home while you are away and give them your cell number just in case
- Have a plan in place for your family in case of fire, etc.
- Make sure family members have cell phones and that everyone knows each others numbers in case you get separated
..and so on. Just think ahead and have a plan.
The idea is simple: be prepared, not scared!