Cover, camouflage, and concealment….often go hand-in-hand. Just a quick note on concealment. There are usually 3 areas of focus when talking about “concealment” in this industry that I refer to, only 2 of which are usually acknowledged. Concealment via hiding one’s true intentions or identity….the ability to play down one’s true capabilities and skillsets. Concealment via carry: blades, firearms or any primary, secondary or tertiary weapon on-body and protected from public view, including the ability to subtly deploy those tools under specific circumstances. The final is concealment by blending- crowds vs. individual interaction, dress for context, fitting into different classes with different mannerisms/dialogue, environments and types of people (work, personal, social), cultures (I can attest to this one) and social groups within class. Adapting to the daily scenarios of life and becoming “chameleonic” in the ability to shape-shift and fit. This is the one most neglected: hiding in the open…..do you have preferred niches or are you able to merge with any group dynamic to become diverse….
To add, while I agree with much of the attention paid to the idea of “being gray” (blending in, #3), I think it’s often harder than many give it credit for. It’s not just solely “being gray” but being truly adaptive and improvisational to the social circumstances dictated (in another culture, for instance), where prying eyes or different orders are often watching within those same circles. I had to alter some adaptation methods that work very well in Canada to acclimitize here in CR as they simple failed and exposed me to some situations that I otherwise would have avoided easily.
Here overlying societal and traditional stigmas can sometimes cause someone foreign to stand out in a greater way than they even imagine and I’ve seen it countless times with North Americans living here. (and poor patterning, cultural awareness and lack of transferable skillsets to the new environment are big drivers here and often go unrecognized) And it’s most often them that become targets for low- and high-level criminals. It’s sometimes a very profound element when living abroad. Me blending as a white, blue-eyed, North American in transparent ways is simply not achievable but dress, language ability, colloquialisms, acceptance of certain cultural aspects and ability to blend with both lower-, middle- and upper-classes (that have very different stigmas and I have times where I’m accessible to all, sometimes in the same day) give greater tools.
For me, here, #3 is a far greater ability of equal value to the other two whereas, for others on the page, it may have far lesser value. (Intra-state, intra-province holds minimal need for big changes and can be adapted to fairly easily, granted and admitted)
Sometimes being “as you are” is far more imperative than intently trying to be something you´re not.