After witnessing all that I witnessed on the public transportation (note that I said witnessed and not experienced), I'd have to say that I'm extremely glad that I am extremely aware of my surroundings.
While I am definitely of the opinion that I'd rather have my headphones on whenever I'm on the T, it's mainly because I'm actually extremely aware of whatever is happening. I would also like to admit right here and right now that I'm really quite nosey. Remember my "Rear Window" post?
But I really don't want to hear other people's conversations. Especially when they're talking on the phone about something extremely private and personal. Especially when they're talking about some medical condition.
Yet, I know how valuable it is to keep your wits about you at all times. So, if I know I'm going to be in a high traffic area, I make sure I'm aware of my belongings and my person. If I'm walking around by myself in the evening, I don't pull out my earphones until I'm on the T.
I don't think it's about not trusting others. It's about me misplacing things or accidentally dropping something of mine - which has happened way too often.
But it's also about knowing if others are unaware of their surroundings and belongings. I feel like I'm often the only person on the T who let's other riders know that their bag is wide open or something is hanging from their backpack or they dropped their glove.
Maybe it's not worth it to be so aware of what's happening around me, since I think it can lead to being overly vigilant. But I'll take my sense of awareness over having my fly open any day.