One of the greatest advertising campaigns in the last fifty years came from American Express…. Actor Karl Malden, an Academy Award Winning actor looking like a tough, street wizened police detective warned that if you left home without your American Express Checks, you could very well lose all your money. So, as he warned us loud and clear, “Don’t leave home without them” ….and the truth is, I never did. I could not bear one of my favorite actors yelling at me saying, I told you so.

All of us possess the most deadly, effective concealed weapon there is….it does not matter how old you are, what physical condition you are in, whether you are overweight or underweight. It has no prerequisites to carry it…. you do not need to take any courses, nor do you need a permit.

So maybe you are asking where this weapon can be located, so we can find and use it. There is a special place where you can find it……IT SITS ON YOUR SHOULDERS, but we always find a way to leave home without it.

We leave our homes and then go blank. We drive by rote, we leave the market and go on rote, with our phones stuck to our ears. We drive to ATM machines at night…. we park a block from a restaurant to avoid valet fees, and an oldie but goody, road rage….we avoid thinking and end up arguing.

We seem to be at a point where we spend more time thinking about what is recyclable and what isn’t. We’ve been locked up for 2 years and think that because we can now remove our masks, and leave them at home, we can also leave our “concealed” weapon on the same shelf.

My parents used to say, “keep your wits about you” …. did I listen? No, but I was younger, stronger, and could run quickly from harm’s way.

As we “crawl” out of our 2-year cocoons, I tell my clients, and students to make use of our concealed weapon like never before. Think about what you are doing, watch where you are going, sense when there is danger and avoid it, ….and most importantly, never, ever, proceed on rote.

Karl Malden is gone, and so is the commercial from American Express, but I still see that weather-beaten face in the Fedora hat, whispering to me…….and still trying to keep me safe.

Take it for what it is, it’s just as I see it.