I agree that being conscious of one's surroundings 100% of the time is very important.
There used to be a video on you tube taken from a surveillance videocam in a MacD's. It showed an elderly gent being knocked out by a thug because the man just didn't keep his eye out for potential trouble. Any really good defensive class or program teaches awareness as a critical component of personal safety and security.
In my youth I studied a couple of exotic combative arts. A key component of instruction was training in awareness, even when asleep. My wife tells me that after we first got married, she couldn't get out of bed and go to the bathroom without me rolling out of bed and assuming an attack position as she returned to our bedroom. She said I was scary! I don't even remember doing that.
For years after I became a Witness, I used to encourage some of my closest friends to try to catch me off-guard with mock attacks when I least expected. Even worldy acquaintances who knew of my training, and they were few, tried. Even a brother who held a black belt tried a mock attack in a crowded situation a few years ago. Nobody ever succeeded. That was to keep my edge.
My training also encouraged me to think of everyday items we have around us as potentially lethal weapons for self defense. As I type this I have a pair of scissors, a cup, a bowl, two spoons, two empty water bottles, a plate, about thirty pencils and pens, and a box of 7.62x54 rifle bullets, any of which I can grab if somebody kicks in the door and use lethally if I can get close enough to an attacker (I can probably use the plate and/or bowl to distract an attacker and allow me to get in close). Believe it or not, there is a very little known martial from Japan which specializes in that very aspect of defense.
In my house, one can find three K-bar combat knives, a couple of Gerbers, and a few other odd combat knives secreted at various locations around the house. I also have a few other oriental weapons I will not specify around the house as well. Not to mention my fine set of Sheffield kitchen knives on the counter in my kitchen. Let's just say that trying to start something untoward in my house is not a very good idea at all.
I am also considering buying several pistols (I grew up shooting firearms and enjoy it as a hobby) and obtaining a permit to carry in the near future. Unfortunately, my usual mode of dress does not lend itself very well to concealed carry most of the time, so I won't rely primarily on firearms for my personal defense.
It is foolish in the present world not to pay attention top one's need to be cautious and ready for personal defense. The state recognizes no obligation to prevent us, as individuals, from being attacked. And it would be delusional to expect it to anyway. The responsibility falls on us individually, and we each need to provide for ourselves in that matter. Nobody else will do it for us. The solution is to get the equipment and training to deal with the problem.
Most martial arts programs are now sports oriented and of questionable value for real defense on the streets. Right now, combative arts like Krav Magra (an Israeli martial art), Kajukenbo (a fusion art which originated in Hawaii but is taught in the lower 48 states and elswhere), Systema (martial art developed for the Soviet special forces), Isgoshindo Karate (developed by US Marines stationed on Okinawa and a little hard to find an instructor for), and Aikijitsu (the mother art out of which came Aikido and Hapkido) are about the easiest non-sport combative arts to find an instructor for and good places to start. Training from combat certified handgun instructors is a must if one wants to use a handgun. And women really need to find classes geared to their rather special defense needs (men rarely have to worry about rape). Since women are generally not taught to be as aggressive in their own defense as men (universally true across cultures), a special program to help a girl or woman to get past that obstacle is a must.
I hope that leaves folks some food for thought.