Friday, 6 July 2012


We wouldn’t get very far in life without trust. All relationships are based on trust, trust that this person, whether it’s your mum, your lover, your friend, or the slightly questionable man in the kebab shop scratching his nuts then smelling his fingers (it’s the finger smelling that makes this situation all the more suspicious) before serving up your chips in pitta bread with salt and mayonnaise, will not hurt you, betray you, or add a little extra something (like Ecoli) to your food. Just think, if you trusted no one, you wouldn’t even be able to leave your house. You wouldn’t be able to trust that the mechanic made your car road worthy so you wouldn’t be able to drive; you wouldn’t be able to trust that some driver won’t mow you down in the street so you’re stuffed before you even walk out the door. But then you also wouldn’t be able to trust the builder who built your house, you could wake up (or not) in a pile of bricks at any given moment. Yep, I’d say trust (or maybe lack of paranoia) is pretty important in having a life worth living. Those people who say they trust no one have really not thought that statement through.

But, paranoia aside, at what point do we start to really trust people? Does it take years to nurture or should we trust until we have reason to think otherwise? And after the trust is gone, can we get it back?

I’m a fairly trusting person, so when I meet someone new, be it a friend, a date, whatever, my instinct is usually to trust first and question later. I always try to look for the positive side of someone until the opposite is glaring me in the face. It takes a lot for me to lose trust. But many people do things differently. They are suspicious of everyone, and wait for trust to be earned before they give it away. And I wonder if those people are any happier or safer than me as a result?

Life in itself is a gamble. And, as my trip down paranoia lane above proves, we also take a lot of things for granted. If we thought every single little thing through we’d all be pretty miserable and not a lot of fun to have around.

If you look hard enough you can always find reasons not to trust someone. If you let your mind stray just a little and question someone’s motives, you can turn the most innocent of things into a potentially massive betrayal. And if you don’t nip those thoughts in the bud, you can make not only your own life, but others too, a misery.

The funny thing is the least trusting people are often the ones who are not to be trusted themselves, in my experience anyway. I trust people, I suppose mainly because I know that I can be trusted. Those that don’t trust are often the ones who are shady by nature. If someone doesn’t trust me, my first response is to wonder whether I can really trust them.

Trust is often overlooked as the most precious thing, but it must be encouraged and nurtured. Many people say that trust is impossible to get back once it’s gone. But, like every emotion, whether or not to trust is ultimately a choice. I have been betrayed and trusted again a few times in my life. OK, maybe things are never the same but that is just the way life is. I’ve spent too long in my life worrying about things that didn’t happen (and some that did, but did worrying about them before they happened help me in the event? Er, no). And not trusting does not make life any nicer or easier, in fact it makes everything more difficult. So I will always choose, at least try to, trust. It’s not always easy, but that is my choice. And hey, life is never easy.

Was Shakespeare right when he said “love all, trust a few, do wrong to none”? Because, to me, love and trust go hand in hand. I couldn’t love someone I didn’t trust. But do I love all those that I trust? The kebab man? Hmmm, maybe I do at 2.17am on Sunday morning (come on admit it, we’ve all declared our love for the kebab man in a drunken stupor. Just me? Wow). But I do believe Shakespeare was right when he said love all. Although if he were alive today, I certainly would not expect to see him in line at my local kebab shop at 2.17am on a Sunday morning, I really don’t think he’d be able to get past the finger smelling. Few would, but chips is chips. Especially when you are very drunk indeed.

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