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Reality is that it is not always a good idea to trust strangers. Trust is difficult to discern in institutions as well as persons. It is difficult, if not impossible, to reduce all risks in life, but it is possible to reduce placing oneself at risk. This is constantly accomplished daily on a conscious or subconscious level
I am concerned how often I read in the Post-Gazette's "Random Acts of Kindness" column people placing themselves at risk with total strangers by accepting offers of assistance and entering vehicles to be driven home or to a hospital. Lost car keys or keys locked in the car are mentioned routinely as are falls, etc.
Regardless of age or gender of the person in need or of the one offering assistance, it is not wise to take this risk. Although statistics, if kept, may show a low incidence of harm, it takes only once for physical or emotional damage to occur.
Preventive actions to a large degree can reduce this risk possession, i.e., having a cell phone for emergencies, driving a drivable damaged vehicle to the nearest populated area -- no matter the resulting cost.
Unfortunately, behavior by some demands that one do his or her best to be alert in accepting aid in situations that have an element of risk.
First Published August 29, 2012 12:00 am