A few days ago in Burien, Washington a 21 year old female Albertsons clerk was collecting shopping carts in the parking lot. A burley, 43 year old male stranger approached her and asked if she wanted to go to his van to check out a refrigerator. Although her customer service training might have had her oblige, this young woman followed a more urgent message coming in loud and clear from her gut.
The moment he approached her, she reported that she knew something was wrong. Thankfully for all of us, she listened. She didn’t accept his offer so he changed tactics, attempting to grab her and pull her into his van. She put up a fight. Another woman in the lot saw this and started shouting, trying to get help. Eventually, the clerk got away and ran inside to call police. The man followed her inside and posed as a customer, until police arrived and promptly arrested him. Turns out he was a career criminal, current gang member with a history of violence.
She was most likely seconds away from becoming his next victim and another sad statistic. The reason this is good news for all of us is because her willingness to listen to her inner wisdom resulted in getting a dangerous, violent criminal off the streets. She could have rationalized it away with fears of not being courteous to a customer or being a racist, but instead she took the information at face value. When she advocated for herself and honored her intuitive instincts, she did us all a favor. Her courage created a safer place of all of us.
Every time we prevent ourselves from becoming victims, we send a ripple effect through the world, making it a better, safer place. Finding the courage to fight for yourself is more than just expressing your right to defend yourself verbally and physically. It contributes in a very immediate way to the greater good of everyone in your community and beyond.