How To Stay at Peace in the Midst of Chaos Francis A December 10, 2014 With police violence and protests on the rise lately it seems that things will probably get worse before they get better. These kinds of events affect everyone and it is a good idea to have some idea of what to do when you get caught up in a chaotic situation. You may never know when it will approach or what will occur when you find yourself being questioned by police or facing a wall of riot shields during a peaceful protest. If you are not careful and consciously in control during such situations you are likely to end up being arrested or being another victim of police violence. Just discussing this subject is enough to put people on edge, facing the real thing is another order of difficulty. I aim to give some advice on how to help you stay calm and in control during such scenarios. The most important thing to decide, right now as you read this, is to determine your priorities. What I mean by this is that if you actually find yourself stopped by Police what is most important to you in that situation? You may want to tell them off and cuss them out, and you can, but weigh that against being in a prison cell or the possibility of the officer beating you into the ground. If it is worth the risk than go right ahead. You can calmly and maturely talk to the police without getting angry. Even if they still do something to you it will be much more difficult for them to prove they were right and this will catch up with them later. One thing that you can trust is that people naturally and automatically regard an angry person as irrational and therefore wrong. If you have anger or frustration in these situations people will always be suspicious of you and see you as the threat just because of the anger. This fact of human behavior is the main reason police get away with so much. Humans naturally suspect an angry person as threatening. police are trained to be calm and hold their demeanor. So when videos are released the only person who looks threatening is the victim. As is often witnessed the calmness of police is usually only skin deep and is more like a snake waiting for it’s prey to come closer so it can strike. This is why you should NEVER get frustrated or angry with police. It is because they want you to get angry. You being angry means you are threatening and therefore they can do what they want with you and walk free. You will likely have to adopt the same body language and mannerisms as they have if you want to walk away from these kinds of situations. It must be known to you what you want the situation to end with. This is why you need to know your priorities. You must start with the end in mind as they say. You can take a bad situation and have a plan A, B, and C. Set these best-case scenarios out and know what they are. If you don’t have priorities than when the situation actually comes you will not know what to do. This means it is likely the situation will control you, instead of you controlling yourself. Before you are entered into these situations you can practice for them by using a method that Olympic athletes use called visualization. Visualization is a powerful tool that helps train your subconscious brain to behave according to your conscious commands. The best method is to begin by imagining the possible scenarios that could happen and then walk through them step by step. Envision every component of an interaction from beginning to end and focus primarily on what you do in the situation. Pay attention to how it feels. Pay attention to the sounds, senses, and all details of the scenario. Focus on your tone, your body language, your mood. Imagine the other person doing different things and adjust what you do accordingly. Feel free to alter any part of your behavior as you wish to something you believe is better. The more you run through practices like this the easier they get. This practice is used by professional athletes, public speakers, and works for anyone who has to do tasks which require a lot of important decisions in a short amount of time. If you can envision these things in your mind you will be better capable of handling them when they occur in real life. If you find it hard to control yourself while you are sitting alone thinking than you can be certain that you will not do well in real life. Keep practicing until it feels right. This process may lead to deep questions of morality on what is right or wrong. Ultimately when you face situations like the ones being discussed here it is not an issue of right or wrong, it is an issue of walking away with your life intact. The question of morality should occur from what you do in your everyday life. Don’t expect everyone else to follow along. Visualization has an enormous amount of scientific evidence supporting that it truly does change performance and behavior towards what you envision in your mind. Using this you can practice the situation. I recommend meditating on your breathing for 10 minutes before you begin this practice. It will sharpen your focus and memory and make the process run clearer in your mind. Envision being calm and controlled in your words and actions. When you face real-life situations observe if there is a difference from before you did the visualization. This practice will help you in any unforeseen chaotic situation where you have little time to act. The more you know what you are going for the easier it becomes to do it without effort. This means even when everyone is crying and screaming you can still be focused and calm, doing what you know is best. Knowing what you want to get from life will determine what you do in very chaotic situations. It is up to you to choose what you are going for. Everyone is faced with chaotic and unwanted situations in life. They are life’s challenges. It is not what happens to you in life but how you handle life’s challenges that makes you who you are. Be well and at peace.