Is it trusting your gut or something more?


February 14, 2011|By CHARLIE TARK | Pulse correspondent

"It would take just a few seconds," my dad said.

We were a small family enjoying a fairly normal vacation — what could happen?

 Inside the Italian bank, my dad swiped his debit card and hesitated.

 All of the instructions were in Italian — a language which my dad had absolutely no experience in. It took the man behind him in line a few seconds to notice my dad's frustration, and being the kind man he was, took it upon himself to help him out.

At first he seemed like an ordinary, harmless native — of course, he spoke English and Italian — but something in the way he offered to help bothered me.

 I'd like to call it intuition, but at the time, it just seemed like a random feeling of suspicion.

 The man explained the instructions casually to my dad and appeared to take a few steps back until my dad had completed his transaction — or so I thought.

 We left shortly after, but something was still bothering me. My dad seemed to stop as well.

Something was wrong! I had no idea what, but I just had a gut instinct.

 We rushed back to the ATM, and saw that the man from before was still working away on it.

Once he turned and spotted us, he suddenly stopped and started to briskly walk away.

Walking back to the ATM screen, my dad froze. His account was still logged in.

It wasn't until later that we found out what had happened. The message at the end of the ATM transaction had asked, "Would you like to make another transaction?"

The man, most likely a con-artist, had probably targeted my dad because of his tourist-like appearance.

Incredibly, our intuition and the feeling of anxiety had saved us. They were small things — the posture of the man as he watched my dad, the line in Italian at the end — that my subconscious had somehow taken in and processed instantly.

 It's undeniable: Our subconscious seems to have some sort of keen insight that processes enormous amounts of information about something from something as little as a passing glance.

People are usually skeptical toward omens and gut feelings, and sometimes, they ignore them altogether. Think back to a time where you had an instinctive feeling about something or someone.

It's more than likely that this intuitive feeling had been accurate and upon perceiving tiny, seemingly insignificant details, had saved you on at least one occasion. It's this intuitive subconscious that we experience on a day-to-day basis.

For some reason, this notion of such an intelligent subconscious fascinated me.

I thought, "If more people utilized this subconscious ability correctly, so many accidents caused by ignoring intuition could've been avoided."

If more people realized just how significant this ability is, the world would be a different place. Whether for good or for worse would depend on us as individuals.

Does rationality overrule instinct? It just makes me think — truly, how much do we really know about our surroundings?

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