The Gift of Fear is a non-fiction book that is meant for a self-help and is authored by Gavin de Becker. The book is meticulously written with all the facts integrated to provide the readers with help on how to avoid violence and trauma by shading the light on precursors and warning signs that are imminent prior to violence. Consequently, it has emanated to become the bible for a self-protection from stalking, physical assault, domestic violence, workplace mayhem, and date rape. Majority regard the human violence to be unpredictable, but de Becker delineates the motivation of abusive and violent individuals by offering wise counsel on the ways of eliminating such kinds of risks from coming into people’s lives. The book embraces the principles of “to be forewarned is to be forearmed.” It is composed of useful information that is designed strategically to help in turning nagging worries and irrational fear into quantifiable and useful tools. There are many significant items that are displayed in this piece of writing, namely, the fear, intuition, predictors, settings of violence, and feelings among others. Nevertheless, this paper discusses intuition as the most significant element illustrated in The Gift of Fear.
Intuition is discussed as an extraordinary defence resource in humans. Unlike the wild animals, the human beings were not created with the strongest jaws and the sharpest claws, but God blessed every person with the biggest brains. Intuition becomes the most impressive process operating in the brains. The author illustrates that occasionally, majority fail to recognize the importance of intuition but rather consider it inexplicable, emotional, and unreasonable. For instance, husbands normally chide their wives concerning the “feminine intuition” and hardly take it seriously, choosing instead the unemotional, explainable, and grounded thought that normally climax in to supportable conclusion. Becker also shows that American society in general worships logics, even after realizing it is wrong, and completely refutes intuition despite its correctness. Intuition is referred in the book as a process that is ultimately logical and more extraordinary in the natural order than fantastic computer calculations. Intuition appears as the most intricate and one of the simplest cognitive processes at the same time. In fact, intuition becomes one of the most significant elements that Becker discusses. This is because when every person becomes sensitive to his or her intuition, it is unlikely to fall victim of unfavourable circumstance. Undeniably, every person requires a defence mechanism and this, being a naturally occurring one, cannot be ignored.
Becker depicts intuition as a resource for predicting situations. The author shatters the myth that a larger percentage of violent acts are unpredictable. The capacity to predict arises from questions individuals normally ask themselves concerning any events transpiring. This case is illustrated by a case of a woman comfortably tolerating a stranger who has come to deliver furniture to her home. Her comfort, with adequate clarity, communicates the fact that she has managed to predict that the man does not impose any danger to her. Through her intuition, several questions crossed her mind in the bid to seal that prediction and evaluated both the favourable and unfavourable aspects of the man’s behaviour. Because favourable behaviours are a common knowledge, and if one manages to list them and take notice of the opposites taking places, he/she will be on the process of predicting imminent danger. Becker terms this as the “rule of opposites” and suggests it as a powerful tool for making predictions prior to any situation. For instance, one weighs favourable against unfavourable by focusing on the following signs:
- not paying any undue attention versus openly staring
- focusing only on his job versus offering a hand in unrelated task
- being respectful of privacy versus having utmost curiosity characterized by asking many questions
- waiting at a good distance versus waiting closely
- being patient enough to be escorted versus freely walking around the house
- limiting comments to the line of job versus engaging in irrelevant discussions regarding other topics and making personal comments
- being so concerned about time and does his/her things quickly versus not minding about time and not in hurry to quit
- being not concerned about availability of others at home versus interested in knowing the number of people present at home
- caring less if the owner is expecting others versus intending to know if other people are anticipated
Therefore, intuition plays a key role by relating the questions crossing the mind with things that are not clear. As a result, a person can become easily prepared or avoid an imminent situation. (p. 93)
Intuition is also depicted to be always correct. For instance, Becker says, “Intuition is always right in at least two important ways: firstly, it is always in response to something; secondly, it always has your best interest at heart. Unlike worry, it will not waste your time.” Intuition is unveiled to work to the benefit of every person when he/she chose to honor the accurate signals and proceeds to evaluate and believe that either the unfavorable or favorable may happen. This dissolves all the worries, since an individual will be notified of anything deserving attention. It implies that it gives fear credibility by eluding wasteful application. Acceptance of the survival signal as a welcoming message and evaluating the situation stops the fear instantly. Therefore, trusting intuition is always the best move, as it is the exact opposite of a life being led in fear.
In conclusion, intuition is the most significant element that is discussed in Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear. This is because it teaches prediction of behavior and spells how a person can listen to him/herself and correctly interprets the warning signs from the suspicious people. Therefore, it becomes the most important lesson from the book and is depicted as an extraordinary defense resource.