The Trust Factor


Chances are very good that at some point in your life, you’ve been duped. Swindled. Scammed. Conned. People get hit hard, for example, the Bernie Madoff rip off that impacted Jewish philanthropy like a tsunami. Or cold fusion. Trickle down economics. Energy can’t come from nothing. We all know that money never trickles down. And if it sounds too good to be true… But people want to believe. We cling to fantasies of our own creation.

Science requires evidence and proof. One needs to replicate a result over and over to establish a working hypothesis. Not so with human relationships. Sometimes in an instant a bond is formed that appears real. People feel a connection. They trust their intuition. They find the things they think they have in common. Anyone can find synchronicity; after all, we are human and more alike than different. But we want to believe that our trust is warranted. We remain blind to flaws, to inconsistencies, to half-truths, sometimes even to outright lies.

Like the song, I’ve experienced my share of hearing what I want to hear and disregarding the rest. I’ve trusted for no good reason. I’ve most definitely played the fool. Bad things have happened even to good people like me. Good people like me can lead and be led astray.

Is there an alternative to sightless trust? How do I keep from exposing my vulnerability? I could be closed and unfeeling. Maybe I can. I could try. I can stop caring. I could assume the worst of everyone, so that when someone attempts to mess me over, I won’t be surprised. I’m three quarters of the way to mistrust by default already. Not all so naïve anymore. Closing down. Shutting up. Regaining control. My cool.



3 thoughts on “The Trust Factor

  1. The superficiality reference was based upon relativity. That delirious feeling and the exchange between lovers are important and necessary but they are not the most important. The infatuation without the spark or flame is desire, passion is lust, and making love is no more than sex. No amount of writhing of two bodies beneath the sheets will result in an ember. The parties' potential imbalance of intention is the source of pain. Is your lust my love?

    As far as virtual friendships are concerned, I do not bode well in these circumstances. Part of the problem is the medium, it is a place where complex thoughts can easily be lost or misconstrued. The words lack intonation, no chance for a pause, and the conversation lacks visual and tactile feedback.

    Had this conversation occurred in the real world I'm assuming a level of trust as a friend or a lover. This discussion it would have transpired within minutes probably somewhere after the second or third sip of wine. At some point a simple act of comfort such as hug would be offered and if this turned into an embrace then possibly the physical contact you spoke of. Actually had I the level of trust of a lover there would be a need for this conversation; we'd be out dancing!

    Unfortunately reality and virtual reality never really meet; guess it's like matter and antimatter, the resulting explosion would definitely generate a spark and flame but would disrupt the space-time continuum.

    In regards to the other kinds of situations, “Trust but verify” President Ronald Reagan

    If Johann was alive today he would be honored to be quoted in the same company as you, you're a gifted writer.

    Be happy


  2. Thank you for quoting me. I appreciate it even if you call it superficial. There are all kinds of love and all kinds of warmth; nothing superficial in one's first love. What a great feeling – wish I could remember back that far! 🙂

    I think your concept is quite solid. Now, if only all the lonely folks could match up with someone who would hold them and not let go, the world would be a far happier and more trusting place. Matching up – there used to be a yenta in every village. Nowadays it's called eharmony.

    Your theory doesn't bode well for virtual friendships, does it? No physical contact, no chance to experience trust.

    Trust or mistrust extends to all kinds of situations, not only to romantic relationships. Anywhere two or more people come together for any reason, there is the opportunity for an increase or an erosion of trust.

    I wish you luck in finding the fire's warmth. You certainly seem to deserve it.


  3. The instinctive and inexplicable desire to hold and be held is what you have been unconsciously seeking.

    This is the root of trust.

    First a baby will cry out to be heard and then it reaches out to be held. It doesn't know why it just does; its life depends upon it and so does ours.

    As an adolescent or adult this process is far more complicated, we obsess over the superficial “That delirious feeling of first kiss or first love. That sense that the rest of the world doesn't matter, that only the exchange between lovers is real” and overlook the warmth and tranquility we need to embrace and covet. Having been burnt by love's fire we've learned fear and in error have built walls to protect our hearts.

    I long for the fire's warmth and have torn down the insulating walls around my heart. I will be burnt, possibly badly, or even beyond recognition. It's far better than living in the cold “Snow in Massachusetts”.

    I recommended you do the same.


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