Wednesday, March 08, 2006

what's with the fear?

let me start this by saying i am one of the uncomfortable / fearful people i am about to describe...

why is it that we're so afraid to talk to strangers in our society?

there was a guy on the bus who was desperately trying to talk to folks, not about anything particular, just random stuff. i suspect it was just to make some kind of contact with another person. he was maybe a bit off-kilter, but gentle and nice. just talkative. he in fact seemed a bit like a young child in an older man's body. because that's the thing, kids, kids will talk to you.

got on the bus and sit next to a 4 year old and they'll be telling you their life story in no time (they're only 4, so the life story only takes a few stops...). i sat next to a little girl one time who explained to me that she wanted to be a mommy when she grew up and that she wanted to have 19 kids. ahhh, to be 4 again, completely oblivious of the pain and exhaustion involved in a child. such lofty ambitions. but i digress...

my point is, everyone thought that was cute and endearing with her, people talked back, people talked about her when she got off the bus, she in fact was the catalyst for strangers on a bus to start talking to her.

so why is similar behaviour in a 65 year old man scary, off-putting and reason to turn up my radio and escape into my headphones?

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