"Stranger, Danger" Hogwash!
The lie we believe
I am always amazed that many of us assume that the people passing us on the street, the people who are strangers to us, are somehow less safe, less interesting, less friendly, than the people we already know and consider to be our friends.
Of course, a few people are dangerous; but, with just a little caution, they are easily avoided.
Statistics show that most interpersonal violence is perpetrated by people who are already known to us – friends or family, not strangers.
Given this truth, we should more sooner having the proverb, "Family is Cruelty" than "Stranger, Danger."
Trying to be too safe severely damages the possible richness of our life journey
Granted, as a man, I may need to be less cautious than a woman in many circumstances. However, in all my years of making friends with men or women on the street. I have yet to be disappointed or to find myself in danger.
More importantly, I have met many of my best friends this way. I would be poorer by far if I had been cautious the way so many of us are.
Two thousand strangers into friends
Over a period of seven years when I lived in Kunming, China, I hosted four-to-ten Chinese strangers in my home once a week for a two-hour let's-get-t0-know-each-other conversation. In total I visited with over 2000 strangers. Many times one of these "strangers" would ask me, "Aren't you frightened of meeting a bad man."
I replied with, "Well, if I met one, I didn't know it. And I never found anything missing in my home."
Both my life and the lives of my guests, who were also choosing some courage to visit me as a stranger, were much richer because we were not acting on the "Stranger, Danger" idea.
Let children show us the way
Typically, if you place a group of young children together who do not know each other, they will immediately become friends.
Somehow, we adults, in our “wisdom," have decided we must be introduced to each other or must meet each other in some “safe” venue.
We cannot trust strangers.
What a shame! What a loss! What a waste!
Everyone's afraid of the others
Publicly, almost everyone is afraid to take the first step in saying “hello,” concerned that the other person may be a bad person or may think that you are a bad or foolish person.
What a waste!
Challenging that paper-tiger fear
How might you begin to choose courage to initiate conversations with strangers?
If you saw every stranger as a potential friend, how might you act differently?
Honor yourself for the choosing the courage to initiate conversations with strangers.
Check out: Making fun with fear.