Sunday, May 17, 2009

Book Review - “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker

One of my favorite books to introduce people to thinking about personal safety and security is “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker available from Amazon. Gavin De Becker runs a consulting firm that consults with celebrities and others that might be threatened. He was twice appointed to a Presidential Board dealing with security, is a senior fellow at UCLA and is an advisor to the Rand Corporation.

The basic premise of the book is that fear is a protective mechanism that has developed over eons of evolution. Most times when we feel fear, there is a reason for this. A good example is a woman at lone at night in a parking garage walking to her car. Current thought is to dismiss the fear. It is a normal reaction to be scared of this scenario. Being alone, at night, in a parking garage where predators are known to look for victims are all items that make the probability of something happening higher (remember our talk about risk). Basically what he is talking about is harnessing intuition.

De Becker shows you how to spot the small signs of dangerous behavior and what to do about it. He spends a lot of time talking about stalking and how to handle it. This should be required reading for anyone going through a situation such as this.

De Becker uses a lot of case histories and techniques for dealing with similar situations. He talks about a cycle of violence and how to spot it before it fully develops. I definitely recommend this as a first time read on safety and security.

No comments: