Old habits sure are hard to break

I like to talk to people. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re young or old, male or female, or what nationality they may claim. I find people interesting, and I enjoy striking up a conversation with them.

I’m that guy who goes to Walmart with his wife and disappears for a few minutes, only to be found two aisles over talking to someone he’s never met before.

Yep, that guy.

If I see someone just moving in the neighborhood I’ll probably strike up a conversation with them the first chance I get. Just did that a few days ago as a matter of fact.

The ladies in my house think my talking to complete strangers is a bit odd.

They may be right.

What’s funny (to me) about this is that until I was in my early 20’s I was extremely shy and socially awkward. Even looking someone in the eyes was a major struggle for me. Maybe some of you can relate?

It wasn’t until I became a Christian and began to grown in my faith that I actually began to see myself as “good enough” and on equal footing as the rest of the world. Oh sure, I had plenty of people telling me that I would never be more than the shy, introverted country boy I’d always been, but I was determined to be more than that.

By the grace of God and the support of the best wife in the world I went farther than what anyone ever thought I would or could. Along the way I found my voice and God opened many, many doors for me to use it. Again, it was nothing I did. To God be the Glory for every good thing that has come my way!

So, as I said, I enjoy talking to people. I’m finding out however, that I’m not supposed to be doing that any longer, at least not without some restraints. Let me explain.

A few months ago I was out walking and the school bus dropped off a young lady and as the bus pulled away, I said hello to her. She didn’t respond, which I took to mean she didn’t hear me. So I said something to the effect of “I bet you’re glad to be out of school for the day, aren’t you”? This time she murmured something that I couldn’t understand. With that, she seemed to pick up the pace and hurried to get home.

Odd, I thought.

Just last night I was wandering around Target and I hear the familiar sounds of SuperMario coming from the electronics section of the store. I used to love playing Mario when it first came out, so I was naturally drawn to the sounds.

As I round the corner I see a young boy about 10 years of age intently focused on the game he was playing. He was pretty good at it and I complimented him on his skills. In response he barely glanced over his shoulder at me. I watched a few more seconds and told him that I too used to love to play Mario, and this time he didn’t even look at me. The silence felt very awkward, so I quickly left.

Recounting these events with my family I was told that I was probably thought of as an old creeper. In other words, I cannot strike up a conversation with children I don’t know, because I will be thought of as a potential predator.

As I listened to my daughter(who works with kids at a day care)tell me about how I should keep to myself when I’m around strange kids, it all started to make sense and I knew she was right. After all, no telling how many times these kids have been told about “Stranger Danger”. To them, I’m just another old guy that wants to harm them.

I get it.

Still, none of this sits well with me. I don’t like not being able to smile at a child or make over a baby in the store without it stepping over some line that society has deemed uncrossable. It’s just an automatic, natural thing to want to say “hi”.

Honestly, I get it.

Sadly, I get it.

Actually, tit’s kind of heartbreaking if you want to know the truth about it.

So I guess I’m left to wander around the store, hands in my pockets, eyes straight ahead, wearing blinders so I don’t notice the children. I’m to pretend there are nothing but grown ups within 100 yards of me. Which really stinks, because I seem to get along much better with kids than people my own age.

And that my friends, is the society we have descended into. Not much more to say about that I suppose.

Old habits sure are hard to break…I wonder how long it’ll be before I smile at some kid and ask “how ya doin”?

Be blessed on this Lord’s day,


8 thoughts on “Old habits sure are hard to break

    • You know what’s weird about this Mary Ann? It seems I can talk to complete strangers about any topic they want t talk about. Yet even after all these years i still struggle to find an opening to talk about the Lord with them unless they bring it up first. I know people who can meet someone for the 1st time and before you know it they’re asking the person if they are saved or not! Guess I’ve still got a lot to learn. Have a great Memorial Day!


  1. I can understand your feelings, Ron. It is a sad commentary on our times that children must be cautioned against EVERY stranger (even the mildest and most well intentioned). Oddly enought, there is a commercial running about a 90 y.o. man who hands out chocolate bars to happy children. I wonder where he lives…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can remember older gentlemen who used to always be giving something to the kids in their neighborhood. Those days are gone I suppose.
      I just never made the connection that someone would actually lump me into the category of a dangerous person because I’m as far from that as one could possibly get.
      As I said however,once I thought about it I do understand it’s not wise to be so friendly with kids I don’t know. And I still don’t like it!
      Have a blessed Memorial Day my friend.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Ron, I can relate, it’s the way of the world, if you even try to speak to a child people think you are odd, if you start up a conversation with an adult, depending on their openness, you will be seen with a look that you are odd. Different world from when we were growing up.. and God knew it in advance! March on!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The society we’ve become breaks my heart. I pray about it often. I pray for God to sweep down and heal the divisions and hatred and spite in our world. This must be part of a bigger plan so I will just continue to pray and urge my friends to do the same. This is an important topic. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s