Who Put The Strange in Strangers?

Here is my second non-fiction piece posted to Medium.


When one feels lost, alone, somehow out of kilter with the rest of the world, there is a tendency towards fear or flight. If genetics have taught us nothing of life, it is that we have a predisposition to a securing of self. We build our homes in our own images some gaudy, some loud, some bastions of celestial peace that’s mine — I think it’s all the beige, others a mess. Some choose the remoteness of sea-smashed crags, some the hive approach in apartments and busy streets, others to pile this garbage called life atop them and hide away. Who can blame them? Not I. They all, however, share one similarity: they keep us safe, even if not in reality, in our imaginations.

When one does not feel safe, one has a tendency to see things in ways the more clinically sane might not. The hooded youth has eyes for our wallet, the gangs hate our choice in sneakers, the moles in our garden have got it in for our carrots; there’s just no end to it. But why?

As I have intimated, genetics must take some of the responsibility and for that, no individual can be blamed. But I would like to think we have ventured beyond the fear of a lion taking us in our sleep, a predatory shark snatching us off our ramshackle rafts, suspecting every last person we see of hating us; they don’t.

Jim Morrison, the Shakespeare of our time claimed people are strange, and we are. I doubt I see things in the same way as any other individual reading this post. That does not mean they are wrong and I am right or vice versa. In fact, it is often only by the common pooling of thoughts and acts that we can attain a true balance. We learn. We adapt. We are the better for it, more rounded, more considered.

So I say again, this time from the lopsided angle of a man overburdened by thinking, who’s putting the strange in stranger? Or is it, instead, who’s putting the anger in stranger? Who sows the seeds of fear that centuries of learning and evolution has tried to wipe away?

As for me, I’d prefer to ditch the st in strange and say each of these supposedly strange individuals is only ever an L away from an ANGEL. Better this, I think, than peeping through our barricades in fear.

I’ll let you decide as I open my windows and breathe.

The End.

Thank you for reading.


Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

12 thoughts on “Who Put The Strange in Strangers?

  1. I think fear is innate, almost a learned behaviour. Kind of like we’ve seen the bad things terrorists do, so we become afraid it will happen to us. That’s justified for sure. What about the unseen evil like what you write about? And now we have more than one type of window. Working on a story and hoping to capture those tick-tock spine tingling moments. Somehow, I hear Vincent Price’s voice right now. Ha!

  2. Wonderful, Richard. Wise words and a lovely take on stranger, anger, and angel. These are tough times, but we always have a choice about how we wish to view the world and those we share it with. Thanks for the beautiful reminder. ❤

  3. Excellent! I loved your riff on *stranger*.

    Too many people looking for evidence of a slight, looking for justification to be afraid and/or angry, instead of assuming the best first.

    I’ve usually found that people tend to rise or fall to my level of expectation.

  4. I always say ‘my truth doesn’t have to be your truth and vice versa and that is OK’.
    Love this post and I too like the way you ‘riffed’ the word stranger.

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