I will have to admit that it is difficult for me to treat JWs as "normal" people. I have had little contact with them since I was disfellowshipped six years ago, and it has been a little more than a year since I decided I wanted nothing to do with the religion anymore. As it is, our paths rarely cross nowadays. However, Monday was an exception. I saw an elder who once was a good friend of mine while I was shopping in Wal-Mart. When he saw me, he smiled as though unsure of who I was. I've lost considerable weight since we last talked, so perhaps he didn't recognize me. At any rate, I smiled back and continued with my shopping. However, when I saw him in a checkout line a short time later, I deliberately chose another one to make my purchase.
I don't like the shunning, of course, but I see it as their choice. For me, going up to any JW I once knew and acting as if everything is just fine between us is something I cannot yet do. For one thing, I have nothing to share with them. For another, they are clearly uncomfortable with the situation. The few times I have seen them in public, they look away and/or completely ignore my presence. Forcing contact on them they do not want is something I will not do. The choice is theirs and I am content to let them live with its consequences.
What would I do in the entirely unlikely event a Witness would approach me? I would gladly welcome the opportunity to talk. I have had one inactive Witness do so in public. But when I do see Witnesses I once knew, I make no effort to talk to them. Maybe in the future my feelings will change. I think I still have some open wounds from my years in the organization and that is why I avoid contact with them. Yes, Christ said love your enemies, and while I don't consider JWs my enemies, they certainly are not my friends anymore with a few notable exceptions.
You can love all of God's creatures, but some, like skunks and porcupines, you do better loving at a distance. That is how I now view Jehovah's Witnesses. While I had some good times in my many years in the organization and met some wonderful and outstanding people, most of them now no longer want me as part of their lives. So be it. The life I have now is better than the one I had as a Witness. I am expanding my circle of real friends and am all the better for it. I'll welcome any Witness who reaches out to me, but I won't go out of my way to renew the ties I once had.