That might seem like stating the obvious, but so often people avoid face to face contact.
On public transport or in crowds people avert their eyes or look down. Anything but make eye contact.
(Oi cheeky! They’re not just trying to avoid making eye contact with me either. It’s everyone.)
When I was a boy in Belfast, catching the eye of a stranger was tantamount to challenging them to a fight. Ever been asked the question: “What are you lookin’ at?” It’s not a good start to a conversation.
But constantly guarding against making that human contact is no way to live.
So I didn’t.
And the exchanges that ensued- not all friendly – honed my powers of persuasion. (Persuading bigger people not to clobber me.)
And I still don’t live that way.
So I’ll still – maybe foolishly – walk through groups in between me and where I’m going and look the individuals in the face. Rather than go round them or keep my head down. (Unless they’re clearly armed or already running amok – I’m not totally bonkers.)
For to do otherwise would be to surrender to fear, to expect the worst and to diminish our shared humanity.
But I haven’t been punched in the face by a stranger just lately. So it’s going… you know… fairly well.
[This has been a post on the topic of faces for the Loose Bloggers Consortium. To find out what the rest of them have to say, scroll down the right hand side of the screen to their links. If you can face it.]