Force of Habit
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“Curious things, habits; people themselves never knew they had them.”

– Agatha Christie, English mystery author


I had a friend once who had the curious habit of checking the security of every door and window in his house twice each evening before retiring to bed. He would check each possible point of entry (as he referred to them) and then, dressed in his pajamas, make his rounds a second time, again checking each door, sill and sash. When questioned about this behaviour, he denied there was anything unusual about it – it was simply a reasonable precaution.

I was told my friend’s habit had grown out of a home invasion some years prior. Fear of another break-in had made him hyper-vigilant about security. Despite the legitimate origin of the ritual, the habit...

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