Last week, I traveled through Haiti with a new friend who happens to be a law enforcement officer. It had been a while since I traveled with anyone quite so aware and in touch. When I commented to him about it, he explained a “threat level awareness color” system that they had taught him at his police academy. You can see a very similar presentation at…

As you can see, the principle behind the color metaphor is that we don’t want to walk around at condition “black” unnecessarily. We’d eventually burn out. But the implication is that we probably SHOULD consider perking up to condition “yellow” a lot more often than we do.

As I watched my friend at work, I realized that I had probably been very lucky in my life (maybe guarded by angels? … and, certainly, the recipient of a lot of prayer). I determined to learn from his example and open my eyes and scan my horizon a lot more often than I ever had before.

As you’ve traveled cross-culturally, have you experienced “condition orange” circumstances? If so, without revealing any sensitive information (feel free to speak anonymously), can you tell us how you reacted, what came down, and what you learned? Just use the comment box following the web version of this item at Thanks for sharing