Why I Am A Cautious Coward
I've given much thought to this, whether I am really a coward, or just extremely cautious.
Whichever it is, I think I know the primary reason -- namely, that I did not get killed in the Halifax Explosion (the topic of my last post). Having survived this tragic event, along with the experiences that followed, why would I go out of my way to prove how brave I was by deliberately running risks? Living in seven addresses in the two and a half years after the Explosion, making adjustments to each, why would I not play it safe, if possible? By the age of six and a half, I was a very cautious creature.
One of the other main reasons to be careful was that I was small, and always in the company of others who could slap me down, physically speaking. But I was smart, and did homework for the big boys, who became my protectors. To belong to a group did not seem to pay, because gangs beat up gangs, and the small members got it the worst. All through my growing up years, the benefits of being careful and waiting until I had some advantage were emphasized to me. And the flip side of being watchful in order to avoid trouble is that while observing developments, opportunities stare at you, first to make friends, and second to get in on good things early.
Along the way, from time to time, the question of when caution become cowardice intrudes. If I ever solve this one, I'll let you know.