💥Atomic Essays

Short-form lightly edited, lightly structured essays, written in 30 minutes.
Published on:
May 23, 2024

⚖️ Balancing Kindness with Caution: Lessons from a Late-Night Encounter

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While seeking solitude to work on my book late at night, I experienced a disturbing encounter. A woman approached me, appearing normal at first. Our conversation began respectfully, discussing life and religion, but it quickly became unsettling. As it progressed, I wondered if she followed me, culminating in an uncomfortable exchange: 'Let us pray together. No. Well, I will pray now. I won't listen... YOU LACK FAITH IN GOD AND ARE AFRAID OF THE DEVIL.' These were her last words before I hastily exited the bus after rejecting paper that made me feel uncomfortable and rejecting to pray with her. I was concerned she might follow and pose a threat as her demeanor had become increasingly twisted and menacing. Reflecting on this, I realized I could have avoided the discomfort had I trusted my instincts to disengage sooner.

🤔 Overpoliteness: The Double-Edged Sword

Have you ever found yourself being overly polite to strangers, maybe to the point of discomfort? It's a common scenario where kindness and self-preservation compete. Our society often rewards politeness, yet this attribute can expose us to vulnerabilities.

🛑 Safe Interactions: Trusting Your Instincts

When encountering strangers, it's crucial to trust your instincts. Here's a tip: maintain brief and public interactions, especially when you feel uncomfortable or see red flags. Deep conversations aren't necessary—a simple nod or short exchange often suffices.

💜 Maintaining Empathy Within Boundaries

Acknowledging the need for boundaries doesn't mean abandoning empathy. It's about supporting others wisely without compromising our safety. Remember, if something feels off, it's perfectly acceptable to excuse yourself. It's not about being rude; it's about being prudent.

In our unpredictable world, ensuring that our acts of kindness are safe and respectful to others and ourselves is crucial. What strategies have you found effective in maintaining this balance?

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