By Jose R. Villanueva

As originally published on the Listen & Be Heard Weekly1, November 23, 2005.

It is very important to apply preventive self-defense. Preventive self-defense is defined as doing things to make certain one is aware of oneself and one's environment, so one does not fall prey to those things that cause destruction. One should not have to use self-defense most of the time if one is simply aware. There are environmental and spiritual factors that are caused by something one did.

Acute awareness is being there mentally in present time. One cannot have one's mind caught up in a past argument, grief, sadness, etc. This takes up too much of one's own attention units. If too much attention is on the past, then one is not acutely aware of the present. So there are things in one's present time environment that will be missed, and one's observation and reaction time will suffer. Therefore, one can be the adverse effect of one's environment.

Environmental factors that one causes that can lead to destructive acts are one's placement in location. Placing oneself in allies, cities, bars, etc. where trouble is found. If one is not being aware of the places one goes, then one can fall prey to those environmental factors. Use one's intelligence to evaluate every location one goes because it is those decisions that can lead to negative possibilities or eliminate those negative possibilities.

Spiritual factors are found within oneself. One must be acutely aware of oneself and one's actions. This road is the road that leads to ethical behavior and truth. There is an old and widely used word - "Karma." When one transgresses against agreements, laws, and societal moral codes, these transgressions can be considered imprints in one's soul. Every unethical act is imprinted in one's soul, and it is then that any man, woman or child can encounter the same unethical acts that they themselves committed against others. So this is a definite factor that one can control. Therefore, it is very important to lead an ethical and honest life.

Things just do not happen to people. People put themselves in terrible environmental conditions. It is necessary to be acutely aware of oneself and one's environment. The route is very simple to follow. Evaluate intelligently one's environment, do not allow the past to take up one's attention units, and keep one's "hands clean" from unethical acts.