As a society in general, we tend to distrust people that we haven’t met through the regular channels – i.e. through someone we already know, and thus already properly vetted.

Sure, there are some areas where we are expected, to a certain extent, to reach out to the general populace and engage them in some manner – such as a bar – but otherwise? All strangers are bad.

And I understand the reasoning behind such a culture. We’re surrounded by media that tells us that everyone around us wants to kill/rape/maim us and thus we must be on our guard, but surely the good people outnumber the bad? What’s so terrible about reaching out to someone else and simply exploring the possibility of friendship?

We are able to do this through the internet, but even then, folks are vetted via their usage of social media/blogs and what they post therein.

Am I crazy in thinking that perhaps we should take a chance on strangers? If someone starts up a conversation on a train, say, should we shun them for breaking social convention, or engage? Meet someone new, or stick with the conventional, the known?

I know I am certainly much more comfortable with the latter, as are most of us I presume, but should we change that? Or is it best to continue as we are, carefully vetting all who come into our paths for fear of the unknown?