At a very young age, we’re all taught the same thing: Don’t talk to strangers! (Or…at least, I hope all of you were taught that!) In school, I was always shown those terrifying videos of children who were abducted by the mysterious stranger in the white van and then never seen again. There were a million videos, a million scenarios, and a million reasons, ways, nightmares to give to children when it came to dealing with strangers!
“Help! This is not my mommy/daddy!”– Something we were taught to scream in case of an emergency. (Which was actually a double-edged sword. My boyfriend’s little cousin would scream that at the mall if his mother didn’t get him what ever he wanted. )
It was scary for a little kid! Even now as an adult, it takes me quite a bit to relax around new people. People I don’t know? Don’t trust them. In my mind, that little granny could break into my car and take off with it the moment I step out of sight. (Hey…my dad’s fiance was robbed by a granny, okay?) Call me paranoid.
However…I don’t remember anyone ever teaching me about the kindness of strangers. In school (or, in life actually) we basically have the mindset that if you don’t know them, don’t trust them because they might be out to get you! Or something along those lines. Maybe not that extreme, but in the same general ballpark. I’ve had my share of experiences with random kindness from people I’ve never seen before. I find it hard to believe that there is one person alive today that can honestly say they haven’t. Though, after each experience I never really walked away all that affected. Sure, I was happy and I felt good for a while, but that feeling went away eventually.
In my last post, I told you guys–random strangers– that I was flipping out of my mind trying to come up with money to pay for this semester of college. I asked for donations, expecting anything less than $5.00 to be made. You guys donated a little bit over $100.00 to me! I’m a stranger that you have never met face-to-face in your life. For all you knew, I could have just taken it and bought a round for my friends at the bar (fiction, I promise. It really is going towards my semester expenses ).
Honestly, I’m much less paranoid when it comes to people I’ve never met before after this experience. I’m not so naive to completely let my guard down and open my arms to each random person, but I can walk around in public not wondering which one is going to jump me the first chance they get. You’re all amazing, and I thank you a million times from the bottom of my heart whether you donated, rec’d or even took as much as a glance.