Hobbesian Quotations in My Head
Recently, I’ve heard several young women complain about some creepy old guy following them around (the stalker, apparently, had even been spotted all the way in Montana)–creepy enough that they’ve started to carry mace. Every time, the episode started because the old guy looked harmless and lonely and they thought it would be a kindness to engage in a conversation.
I am naturally a cautious person and find conversation, sometimes even with people I know, to be awkward and tedious. I try to be polite, but I’m not the kind of person who goes out of her way to be chatty.
I know that no one can really do anything about who a stalker fixates on. But I wonder perhaps, in these cases, that these young women could have somehow minimized the chance by practicing a little more caution and not be so open in conversation with strangers.
(Of course, it’s unfair that normal, socially-adjusted people are paid back for their niceness with worry and fear. Kindness to strangers is a good thing. But life can also be brutishly unfair–and I think one should always act with this in mind.)