Saturday, 2 October 2010


We like to think we are trustworthy (although some know they aren't), we like also to think that others are too, but deep down we know better. It doesn't necessarily mean we are deceitful or corrupt or anything else, but what it does mean is that our belief in trust is apportioned to what it means to us. Similarly trust in others is also apportioned to what we know of that person and what we require of them. We may trust our doctor implicitly based on past experiences and the rapport we have with him or her, but in a situation outside of the surgery where we have to interact with life skills and events is that trust as hard and fast, probably not? We know only too well with regards friends and friends of friends and the horror stories of being let down, constantly late, forgetful to a high degree and bouts of sheer stupidity, all of which reduces our degrees of trust on the individual, even if they are great company. Life is not a "one size fits all", it's a complex ratio of social interaction which is reliant on conditions and results that in themselves spell out even more complex feelings of self, values, morality, and our opinions and perceptions of life. We also know from experience those people we speak to on the phone in companies when asking for information and the often off handed and stereotyped response which is shallow, cold and insincere and that the person giving such information isn't as bright or as good as they think they are, which eliminates distant trust instantly just from the sheer level of tone and content of one's voice.

We can trust someone we dislike intensely, and we can distrust someone we like very much, we can detest associates and colleagues because they are always late, or in a world of their own yet their work per se is of a high quality, and so it goes on. Our take on trust is very fluid and it's not just the overall concept of someone being honest and not stealing something or taking goods which are not theirs, it's a far deeper and richer concept. You could even trust your lawyer to try every trick in the book to get you off whatever it is they represent you for knowing full well that the tactics used are borderline with being economical with the truth, and deep down you are guilty. It certainly is refreshing when someone is open, transparent and honest, as it makes for not only a lighter conversation but something of real value. People's perceptions today are so stilted that telling lies to shorten conversations and get rid of people and only want your point of view to be heard changes subliminally many individuals outlook and telling lies after a while is something that they do automatically. Since the global banking fracas there is by default an abhorrent distrust of anything that the financial sector puts forward, regardless of the credentials of the individuals who work within it who had nothing to do with the grand greed and deceit that took place.

Life comprises of a series of perceptional trusts ranging from those we see on television such as politicians and overseas spokespersons, down to those who run our local councils and how they perform according to their remit. It can stretch further from our relatives to neighbours and close friends, all of whom have some degree of trust apportioned to them even if we never have to put it to the test. And of course there are those we just distrust and dislike because they don't fit in with what we think or see as being good, regardless of any merit that they may have. Whilst people we like or admire might not be out and out villains, they could be addicted to drugs or some vice or gambling or alcohol or whatever it is, and although that doesn't directly affect us it does alter our perceptions and usually to an extent that we disproportionally distrust them from that point onwards.

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2010

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