Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Fear of Strangers, and Their Deaths
We live in a fairly "civilized" country, most of the time passing a stranger on the street is inconsequential. But deep down is a fear and hatred for strangers that we may suppress in its most savage form, but that shows itself in little ways every day in the play of society. Much has been written about the fear of touching strangers, and I find it interesting that cities with large populations have over come this as a rule, since they push against one another daily in subways at rush hour. However, the gaze between two strangers can tell much. Even a smile can mask one's contempt.
We have certain unwritten rules which make life here free of violence for the most part, but there are times when strangers will fight over something trivial, mostly because their strangeness towards one another dictates that they be the victor, a need left over from more brutal living situations.
But watch a stranger die, or even be critically injured, and all that mistrust goes out the window. Almost anyone will come to the aid of a stranger in need, perhaps it makes one feel important to help, but also they fear the possibility of the same thing happening to them. If one sees the remains of a fatal car crash, there is fascination, but also the chilling reminder that the bell tolls for thee.
All animals are strangers to man, until they become friends or foes. Sometimes humans will take years before really trusting another, some will never. Everyone is a stranger to some degree, including themselves. Strangers may cause harm, so we tend to avoid them, but actually it is the friend, the spouse, the relative who causes more heartache and pain than any stranger ever could.