So much of our daily life is based on our willingness to trust.
We trust that recently cleared roads are safe, even when it has been snowing.
We trust that the United States will provide a safe place for our families.
We trust that staying in the cross walk will keep us safe. (Obviously, trust can be misplaced!)
If you are a dog, you trust your human to care for you.
A few days ago, someone knocked on my door. I have a “No Soliciting” sign, but most of those who knock ignore the sign, claim they didn’t see it, or simply don’t understand what “soliciting” means. I’ve resigned myself to educating them when I open the door.
This time, it was different. The very young woman at my door started talking a mile a minute before the door was fully open. She was obviously nervous. I had to slow her down in order to understand her. I asked her a series of questions and finally found out that she was selling magazine subscriptions in order to win a contest. The prize was $2,000.00. I was not about to order any magazines and I told her that. Then I asked her what her goals were and how she planned to use the prize money to support her goals. She had a lot to say, and I listened. I didn’t think selling magazine subscriptions would help much. But, in the end, I gave her a contribution.
I don’t know if she was sincere and just uninformed, or if she was a budding con artist. Somehow, it didn’t matter. We ended the conversation with her telling me about her family. I wished her well and she went on her way.
I trusted her, putting aside my usual cynicism. Ronald Reagan is known for (among other things) the phrase “Trust but verify” in reference to his strategy for negotiating with the USSR. It dawned on me that trust, at least in personal relationships, is rarely a product of verification. Usually we trust based on a hunch, a feeling, or even experience, but rarely do we suspend trust, in least in personal relationships, until we have had time to verify.
This doesn’t mean I’d endorse trust without verification for important personal financial, political, or medical decisions, but there is something corrosive about approaching others for the first time with a pre-exsiting belief that THAT individual is not to be trusted. Sometimes its just better to risk it.
Note: I haven’t posted since September 2021. For the last two years I have been researching and revising a manuscript for a middle-grade novel. In March 2023 I completed the manuscript. Now comes the fun part – getting published.