exploitation

Don’t Talk to Strangers

don't talk to strangers

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Today, I took a 2-hour bike ride.

I passed several people along the way.

Most were also on their bikes; some were in their yards.

As Mr. Rogers would say, it was,

a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

I said hello to anyone close enough

and looking my way.

Only a few returned the salutation.

Most’s eyes, staring blankly, traveled on

as if deaf and blind.

One child I passed was on my side of the road,

but he changed over when he noticed my presence.

As we approached each other, going in opposite directions,

I said, “hi”, in a small voice, so as not to frighten him.

He kept eye contact but said nothing as he passed.

When I started kindergarten, I walked to school each day.

I remember my mother standing at the top of the front steps.

She always said the same two things:

Don’t talk to strangers.”

Look both ways before you cross the street.”

I never questioned that good advice – until today.

Knowing what I know now, about how a person

is most in danger of harm not by a stranger,

but by a loved one or family acquaintance,

I questioned, why is it children are told not to talk to strangers?

It’s not to protect them.

It’s to keep the secret from getting out.

 

p.s.  one day I will try to write this as a proper poem.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Talk to Strangers

  1. It’s a sad thing…. I smile and say hello to people as we pass on sidewalks, or wherever. Sometimes they reciprocate, but too often they just seem surprised and unsure of how to respond. It’s just a split second thing – not a big deal. But oh, how I crave eye contact, and some sign of friendliness. Thank you for this one. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One lady was standing in her yard, watching her what looked like a very old golden retriever slowly walk across the yard with a frisbee in his mouth. I said to her, “I see he has his frisbee.” She stood there, hands on her hips, looked straight at me with a blank face and said nothing. I was trying to share that moment with her and her pet and was shut out. It hurt!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry she was so unkind to you. It seems people have become distrustful, and I’ve had the same kind of experiences. We moved a couple of years ago to a smaller city and I’m finding it even worse here for some reason. I was expecting small town friendliness. Just a sign of the times, I think….
        Sending you a hug!

        Liked by 1 person

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