The above video is an interesting and fascinating one to watch. Obviously, I watched this from a self defence and martial arts perspective. It raises the interesting issue of how much attention people pay to their surroundings. Going beyond the pickpocket aspect of this video, what I found interesting was Mr. Robbins’ description of attention as a limited resource.
I often walk in my neighborhood and, a number of times, I have walked by teenagers who never noticed me. Why? They were engrossed in their smartphones as they walked by me. Clearly, they would not have been prepared to defend themselves if I didn’t have their best interests at heart.
While it’s one thing for a pickpocket to use misdirection and all kinds of trickery to achieve their ends, it’s another thing when someone, more or less voluntarily, stop paying attention to their surroundings and put themselves in danger and become victims, like the aforementioned teenagers.
But going beyond the issue of pickpocket victims and potential sexual assault victims, I’m also thinking of my parents, one of whom has dementia and the other is a severe stroke survivor. I’m thinking of the senior demographic in general. While I’m not comfortable in painting this demographic with a broad brushstroke, a large number of seniors appear to be vulnerable due to being easily confused and distracted by potential scammers and criminals who are masters of misdirection and surely know how to play the seniors.
Paying attention to your surroundings and to the people in your environment are good ways to avoid becoming a victim.