Risk is such a personal thing... sometimes what I would consider a big risk someone else would just shrug an say why?
One of the riskiest things we can do is to step outside our self absorption and connect with the people around us. Such a simple thing as making eye contact with a stranger scares us to death.
Why? Because if we make that simple connection we feel obligated to follow it up with a word or two. Trust me on this the person you are exchanging glances with is as unsure of you as you are of them.
We westerners have become so insular over the past 5 decades or so that we can no longer even connect on an individual level. Yes computers are partially to blame as is the terrorist attack on our neighbours to the south but that isn't all of it.
I remember when a party was something you did just because you wanted to spend time with your friends and I remember Christmas as a time when we helped a friend who would have been alone for the holiday have a good time. I remember when strangers were just people we hadn't met yet. Friendships were easier to make and so much harder to break than what passes for friendship now.
For you looking a stranger in the eye may be a big risk but you know what... just sharing the glance means nothing. Nod hello or smile, that will help you feel better and may even give them a spirit lift.
Its a simple thing, so easy to do but we are so afraid that we have forgotten that were it not for good neighbours some people would have been lost back in the day.