Just like in games where we have different levels of alertness in different parts of various maps, there is a color system that allows you to avoid being the victim of opportunistic criminals in the real world. It's a fact that there are more lazy criminals than there are determined and intelligent ones. You need to safeguard against the majority and hope for the best against the minority.
In the games, we are expecting danger and very rarely do we use alert conditions below orange. How much fun would the games be if you could let your guard down for extended periods of time?
Maybe they will make a game called Beat Cop or Foot Patrol or Recon Mission. Where nothing happens for a really long time before...BOOM..you're in the shite. I don't think those would be very popular games, to be honest.
In game we have:
Orange, which means you expect a threat at any instant, but there is not an immediate or direct threat.
Red means there is an immediate threat that has your immediate attention, you have set your mental trigger, and the actions of the threat have not forced you to condition Black.
Black is when the threat crosses that imaginary line and trips your mental trigger and you must act swiftly and decisively to make sure that you are not going to be the one to sit out the rest of the round.
All of these states of readiness can be applied to your real life as well, but we will be starting from below orange...unless you want people to look at you funny.
The first state of readiness is more like a state of unreadiness. Condition White is blissful ignorance and inattention to anything going on around you. Examples of this are walking down the sidewalk texting your mates, standing at the urinal whistling to the ceiling, sitting in your car at a traffic light fiddling with the radio controls. You may as well be sleeping if you spend much time in condition White. You are an easy target for even the laziest of criminals. They will soon part you from your cell phone, wallet, jewelry and possibly your life. It's just a matter of time.
The next level up is Yellow. If you are outside of your home, you should be in Yellow as much as you can. Yellow means you have your head up, you are walking with a destination or purpose. You have a strong stride that says you are on your way and you intend to get there. You are making note of things around you and noticing things like that person 30 feet ahead of you wearing a hooded jacket and staring directly at you until your eyes meet and he quickly looks away. You are about to cross an alley, so you move to the other side of the walk to give yourself a bit of distance and you are focused on the alley and what's going on down there until you go past. You are in your car and you notice another car slowly pulling up along your side and rolling its window down. You have left enough room between yourself and the car in front of you, so that if you have to drive off, you are not trapped. This is Yellow and it saves your life against all but the most determined criminals. Avoid confrontation rather than be forced into it.
Orange is the state where you have identified something out of the ordinary or just get a feeling like you are being watched or that you should be more careful. You are in a situation that might easily turn dangerous, but hasn't yet become a direct threat. For example, let's return to that alley I spoke about above. As you peer down there, you notice someone walking toward you with his hands in his jacket pockets or a hand behind his leg not swinging freely like a normal walking stride. This is Orange. You are ready to defend yourself if the threat becomes visible, but you still have the opportunity to avoid the confrontation.
Now it's time to discuss Red. Refer to what I've written above about game situations. The same applies to real life. In Red some action is always required to defend yourself. Your life is not yet in jeopardy, but it soon might be. You have to think about Red and what would push you to condition Black and also what your responses in Black would be. If you don't think about it before it happens, you will be slow to react and will certainly lose the confrontation. It's all about If X then Y. Think about all the scenarios you can, so that when something happens, you know what to do. Know all of your mental triggers to the point they become reflex and require no thought.
Black is the state where you have decided that taking the other person's life is better than losing your own or that of someone around you. Some people can't go to Black. They just don't have it in them. It's not the easiest thing to make the conscious decision to take someone else's life. Again, you must consider this well in advance of the actual event.
Think about this fact. In the United States, 1 out of every 32 people you meet on the street has some form of criminal record. You are rolling the dice if you are betting that this person is not a violent criminal who has already made the decision that your life was less valuable than his. Be ready for him.
Lt. Col (Retired)
22nd [SAS] Elite Virtual Regiment