A Sophisticate is Street Smart

“Don't be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.”  Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 'The Angel's Game'

What are the qualifications for being street smart? Failing. Being put in a dangerous situation and not surviving aka being a victim. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and that is the golden rule living or working in any city. 

Like all learning, there is a curve. That curve can only be found or reached through experience. The first place I lived was in an apartment in the top floor of a house. The windows had bars on them because of the neighborhood. My mother would tell me of the wild dogs roaming the streets that we had to avoid while walking to the store.

My Jr. High school had a fight going on almost every day. Even after I was bullied, two girls randomly tried to pick a fist fight with me just because I looked at them the wrong way and one randomly threw a basketball at my head during gym class.

Forget the potential dangerous situations while dating, especially online, my next level of education came from working in DC. One day while riding the metro I was "disciplined". I came to learn that being "disciplined" is what they call it and no one who lives or works in DC can avoid it.  Over time all these instances made me a little "smarter" when it came to living and working in the city.

For a Sophisticate who lives a bad or any neighborhood, it is her fear that will keep her safe. It is her willingness to stand out, fight back, and reject authority that will keep her alive. 

In the 21st Century with the dangers that exist for a female, even in small towns, a Sophisticate cannot afford not to be street smart. Read the headlines, no "type" of woman is exempt, no woman is safe.

A Sophisticate is educated but she is also has common sense as well as "city sense". What is the difference? There is book smart, "reading, writing, and having knowledge of facts or philosophy." Then, there is common sense. Common sense is when a Sophisticate is able to read between the lines of the facts the she is given. There is theory and reality. 

"Common sense is the ability to have reasoning and understanding of practical application beyond what you are told or what facts you are given." Sophisticate in the Suburbs

Finally, there is "city sense" that are survival instincts applied to the city streets rather than the wilderness. City sense is being able to take what she has read about, understand the application, and finally rely on her intuition to take her to the next level of survival to being safe.

"City sense are survival instincts in the concrete jungle" Sophisticate in the Suburbs

One street rule to remember, "Authority is in the eye of the beholder. Courage is power." Like in the animal kingdom and the wilderness, similar to animals people smell fear. 

The problem with a Sophisticate who is street smart is knowing when to turn it off. Trust is hard for a Sophisticate who is street smart and is conditioned to never let her guard down. 

Here are a few Sophisticated #StreetSmart Lessons:

✌🏻 Sophisticated Lesson 1: The city is territory. Respect means everything, nice clothes mean nothing. Respect is money. - Respect of people will keep you safe. There is a difference between having respect and being a doormat. Being a doormat means showing fear.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 2: Never show fear. A bad attitude will save your life. Someone who not a challenge is "fun" aka a target. - It's important to give people the impression that you won't go down without a fight. Impressions and perspective mean everything.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 3: Like an art form you have to know when to have respect and when to have an attitude. - Don't be a bully. If you are a bully more than likely you will encounter another bully who may be tougher and stronger than you.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 4: Use crowds to your advantage. Criminals don't like attention. Stand out, and not with expensive items. - Be remembered. Wear something slightly distinguishable. A stranger will remember someone who was kidnapped who was different from the norm.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 5: Numbers don't matter. Friends will distract you. Alone or with friends assume you are never safe.- Traveling alone or with friends, if someone wants to hurt you they will do it regardless of who you are with. Sometimes friends will keep you distracted from the dangers apparent around you.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 6: Be prepared. Have a plan, map out a plan, and a "Plan B" before you go or do anything.- Always have a back-up plan. Murphy's law happens and is not ideal when you are trying to stay safe.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 7: For people who are advanced, sunglasses or a hat are your best protection. (A Sophisticate Wears Sunglasses; A Sophisticate Wears a Hat)
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 8: Emotion is the enemy. Be aware of how you are perceived i.e. Happy = Stupid; Sad = Vulnerable; Angry = Challenge; - Never be angry on the streets. People are looking to prove or show how tough they are, never voluntarily give them a reason. (See Lesson 2)
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 9: Relate valuables to the five senses. Can you feel, see, or touch it? If you can't other people can and will. - Backpacks are dangerous in the city. Unless you have eyes in the back of your head you have no idea what is going on behind you.
✌🏻Sophisticated Lesson 10: If you want to out think a criminal, then you need to think like one.

For a Sophisticate who lives, works, or even visits the city, to to be street smart comes down to her intuition. It comes down to being able to be in touch with her intuition. Her intuition will save her from others and from herself. In the end, a Sophisticate is street smart because she follows her intuition. ;D