Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Stranger

The only strange thing about this week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings is the unwillingness of any post to pop into my head. Typically, I see the prompt and an immediate idea forms, pushing its way out of my mind through my fingers on the keyboard and onto the screen before me. But with this week's prompt, nothing. Until...this.

Do. Not. Talk. To. Strangers.

We're taught at a young age to avoid strangers. We're admonished as children to not talk to strangers. We're told to find someone we can trust if a stranger approaches us. We tell each other scary stories involving strangers who come upon unsuspecting children.

We grow up wary. Some of us grow up too wary. And if we're saddled blessed with children of our own, we repeat the pattern, offering up our own admonitions. God forbid the stranger who tries to talk to one of my little ones.

Do. Not. Talk. To. Strangers.

And yet.

There I am passing time in a line at the grocery store, at the bank, at the drug store, at a Springsteen concert, chatting to the stranger in front or me or behind me.

There I am crossing the street to introduce myself to the stranger working in her yard.

Look at me chatting to random people on a bus or a ferry or in a doctor's waiting room.

See that elderly man who just tripped as I passed by? Watch me run to him to help him up, to ensure his safety, to help him maintain an equilibrium.

Hey, that lady's car has broken down and she has a couple of kids in the back. Pay attention as I pull over and leave my own kids in the car while I help her push her car to safety and then take her and her kids to their destination two miles away.

Do. Not. Talk. To. Strangers.


anthonynorth said...

Good point. Life can be such a contradiction.

Tammy Brierly said...

I've always talked to strangers, but I did preach the opposite to my kids. They later learned to just be cautious. lol

Mary said...

There is a very thin line between fear and caution, and society teaches us to fall off to the side of fear. But if we never reach out to others how will we ever form relationships.

Great post.

Tumblewords: said...

Nice post - truthful and strange!

Tara R. said...

I'm forever striking up a conversation with people I'm waiting in line with, or at a restaurant. My kids aren't shy either, but they are older teens too.

lilly said...

That was great, I could almost see you in my head, striking up a coversation!

"Sunshine" said...

I also tend to talk to strangers in lines. The funny thing is that I often get little by the way of responses. I wonder if the people I'm trying to talk to are products of the "don't talk to strangers" lecture. I do agree that one must be cautious, but paranoia is a pretty dangerous thing as well...

*~sis~* said...

i, too, speak to and help "strangers" while i am out and about. but i warn my children to be cautious of anyone they do not know. sadly, it is what is best for both situations.

D... said...

Life is an oxymoron, to be sure.

jenica said...

maybe you're the stranger. ;-D

we're big time stranger talkers... as long as we're together, and as long as don't leave with strangers. there's just too much good in people to assume that everyone out there is bad.

but after looking through the SONAR site, i've come to realize that if they LOOK like a pedophile, good chance they ARE a pedophile.



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