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A Lesson from Tiger

Ever since the Homeland Security department was set up after 9/11 the U.S. government and law enforcement have tried to measure the threat to national security through a color-coded alert system.  We don’t tend to hear about it unless it goes to orange, which signals a high risk.  It’s always good to use colors to communicate.  I mean, years later I can tell you that it’s the red line that takes you to Harvard Square on the Boston metro system.

The Homeland Threat Levels are as follows

            Green             Low Risk

            Blue                Guarded Risk

            Yellow             Elevated Risk

            Orange           High Risk

            Red                 Severe Risk

(They took out Purple, which was Whatever Risk.)

Seriously, we should all be thankful for such vigilance and the fact that we have not suffered any other attack, notwithstanding the terrible tragedy at Fort Hood.

But, here’s a question:  What if in your home, you represent the threat?  Not a lethal threat, but a destructive threat when your anger reaches out and hurts someone, maybe even yourself.  Passively or aggressively.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Tiger Woods crashed his car into a tree right outside his driveway – at 2:45 am.  He was slightly injured and had to be taken to the hospital.  Of course, this has been a media-fest with rumors and speculation as to the cause of the ‘accident.’  Tiger’s not talking, and the police have closed the case, issuing a careless driving citation.  I don’t pretend to know the reason that Tiger drove into a tree, but I know one thing for sure – it wasn’t a good reason.

I don’t know if Thanksgiving had been a Green-Level day in the Woods home, or a Blue-Level day, but before the sun came up, it became a Red-Level day.

Lesson 1:  How’s your personal threat advisory system working?  Do you know?  Use the following to check:

Green         Low            Self-aware and a honest heart before God

Blue             Guarded    Too busy to pay attention to God or yourself

Yellow          Elevated    Irritable, impatient, chronic stress setting pace

Orange      High           Boiling underneath, frustrated

Red              Severe       Ready to explode, detonation near

Different issues, different days, different people, different circumstance may have different threat levels.  Do you know what you are experiencing?


Lesson 2:  If you are self-aware enough to know what is going on inside you, do you have a readiness plan to address the different levels?

For instance, if you don’t have a friend to call when you are between Yellow and Orange, then you’re not ready.  Only about 100% of men are not ready!  You should have a friend close enough to you to see you go Blue.  But, instead, because we are so isolated, so prideful, so downright afraid of being found not perfect, we hang out between Yellow and Orange and don’t even know it.

Those who are close to us know it.

I want to add a new nuance about being green.  I want to promote the kind of self-awareness and honesty that reduce the threats we represent to ourselves and to others. 

And I want to have others who can help when the wrong rainbow begins to appear in my attitudes and actions.


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