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Posted by on January 3, 2021

Carelessness doesn’t bounce; it shatters. Hartman Jule

Guardians.  A defender, protector, or keeper. 

Guard. A state of vigilance or watchfulness, a person who protects or keeps watch. 

Accidents and assaults can happen very quickly.

Criminals can be brazen, committing their offence even in the presence of someone in the implicit (parents, teachers, nannies) or explicit (security guards) role of guardian. Accordingly, it behooves guardians to be in a state of vigilance or watchfulness. There are many distractions.

One of these, not surprisingly, is the cell phone. We see many instances in our everyday lives. Parents walking with their children, or pushing strollers, fixated on a screen. Assailants and kidnappers are not the only concern. Drivers are sometimes distracted, in a rush or too entitled to follow traffic laws. Kids, of course, are not always traffic wary.

In parks and other public gatherings, where abduction attempts have occurred, it is not uncommon to see a parent or a Nanny fixated on their phone – watching a video, scanning social media, or immersed in a verbal or text exchange. Criminals intent on abducting a child are opportunistic. A distracted guardian is an opportunity.

Distraction has infected the ranks of professional guardians. Walking through malls, liquor stores and food courts, one sometimes sees a security person scanning their phone, an obvious concern since their job is to guard. Crimes, of course, happen in these settings. In Toronto this year, a man was shot outside an LCBO (liquor store) after an altercation inside. Some time ago, a man attacked an employee in their workplace office. The attacker, armed with an obvious weapon, walked by a security person preoccupied with his screen. He could have stopped the assault or alerted staff and patrons if he was attentive.

By no means am I generalizing. There are many security personnel, parents, and other guardians who are quite vigilant. I am pointing out that phones have eroded the situational awareness of people in protective roles.

Crimes, including assaults and abductions, happen fast. If you are responsible for the safety of others, please vigilant and watchful.

Leave your phone be.

Image by Annabel_P from Pixabay 

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