Could this be you?
Ninety-nine percent of those surveyed would say no way.
Hitchhiking’s become something of lost art. And good riddance, right?
Hitchhiking is nothing but a quaint, addlepated footnote of 1960s history that is missed by most of us about as much as getting bled by leeches to cure our insomnia.
Yeah, I know.
Hitchhiking= Danger! Serial killers! Shallow graves!
But just for a moment consider this. Couldn’t most of us use an infusion of what hitchhiking implies: a dab of trust between total strangers?
We’re all so damned afraid.
Of each other.
Of dangers that are possible rather than probable.
But what if we’re missing a chance to connect, to help someone in need at little cost to ourselves?
Serial killers are a vastly exaggerated danger. Like a forty-foot long great white shark, they’re dangerous all right, but so rare as to be nonexistent for most of us. Yet a high-fat-red-meat-no-vegetables-no-exercise existence is a certain danger that millions of people court every day.
My father successfully instilled in me a terror of panel vans. Even today when I’m out walking and one slows down near me I think rape and death followed by a shallow grave. Decades after his stern warnings I have yet to be harmed in any way by someone in a panel van, yet the fear remains.
I’m not advocating abandoning common sense, just a loosening of the stranglehold of fear. It impoverishes our lives, especially the lives of women. And at the very least, we should be aware of how few of our fears ever become reality.
So what do you think? Would you ever give a hitchhiker a ride? Ever had a good experience hitchhiking yourself? Let me know. I’d like to hear from you.