Daily Archives: June 3, 2009

Trust? Where?

Should not be found on the bottom end of a rock.

Should not be found on the bottom end of a rock.

Trust is a pretty serious word nowadays.

Recently, a blogger I had never heard of before named Ferraro was found to have stolen the identity of a certain Tech Darling, Mrs. Sarah.

Matticus has made a post detailing the oddities of stealing someone else’s identity, and how to use critical thinking to come up with your own conclusion for things.

Gevlon from Greedy Goblin chimed in with his business like demeanour, crediting Ferraro’s readers with nothing more than being a sap and forgetting the simplest rule of the internet: trust no one and nothing.

Although I think Gevlon has a very good point and is right, I really wish he wasn’t.  See, trust is really one of those hefty words that is thrown around nowadays.  It has great rewards, and staggering losses; but because of all the losses, people are afraid of the rewards.  People don’t trust.

Allow me to explain.

People don’t trust on the internet.  This makes sense, as the information is available to everything and everyone with a connection.  From the best people to the very worst, the fact that I am a dude who plays WoW and has fun doing it is no secret to anyone with enough brains to use a search engine.  I don’t put up anything else of note really to avoid being hunted down and used for target practice.

However, real life shouldn’t be this fear laden.  You only make yourself available to those you choose to meet.  You can choose not to see another person, to not tell them things.  You can choose not to trust people, and to show them who you are.

But what’s so wrong with who you are? When I meet people face to face, I tend to trust them.  Mrs. Klin has pointed out to me time and again that it’s not a good idea, and time and again she’s been right; and me, like an Alzheimer’s patient, have a hard time learning this lesson of distrust and fear.

We fear that people are being dishonest, so we’re dishonest with them.  We put on a poker face the instant someone tells us they are selling anything.  We frequently tell small, white lies to hide imperfections in our identity so that no one can hurt us for them.

I have a strict rule with people: I’m honest with you, you better be honest with me.  I better be able to trust that what you’re saying is true.  I want reliable, gods-be-my-witness accurate information of exactly what you saw, did, and thought.  I don’t want lies to make things “sound” better.  I don’t want lies as an act of vengeance.  I don’t want distrust, ’cause if I find any I will excommunicate you so fast that you won’t know how angry I am at you.

I’ve seen distrust and lies do ugly things to good people.  People get sent to jail without a good reason because of distrust of the defendant.  This society prides itself on “guilty until proven innocent” but hardly ever operates that way.  The instant someone is arrested, they are “the bad guy”.  They didn’t even say anything, but no one could trust a thing they say.  There’s a natural distrust of the accused when there should be trust in the fact that he/she isn’t guilty, not until proven so.

Because of this, no one trusts the system either.  The system loses power in the people(who are the real power, after all).

This natural distrust is a response to all the rest of the natural distrust.  I want to trust you, I really do; but how can I if you don’t trust me?

Real life shouldn’t be like this, but it is.  It’s a constant game of hide and go seek where the stakes are as high as your lively-hood.  You can’t truly trust anything anyone says because they can’t truly trust a thing you say.  Preen-ups are a form of distrust, but you need it because you can’t trust the other half of the relationship.  Politicians, the people who run countries, can’t be trusted because they “lie” all the time(which they do, more often than not I’m sorry to say).

Where did all this distrust come from? Why can’t we trust one another?  This Ferraro incindent, the start of this little rant, is a perfect example of why we can’t trust everyone; but it’s so important to trust people.  Without trust, society degenerates into a frothing mass of cavemen at the bottom of a pit the size of Texas.

Let me leave you with a story of how things once were.

The ancient Greeks were once so trusting that they would bring strangers into their house, bathe them, clothe them, and feed them, let them sleep the night, and then they’d ask who they were.  This was hospitality, and it was so important to them that Zeus himself was the patron god of Hospitality.

There’s a story from ancient myth that tells of a time when Zeus and Hermes disguised themselves as mortals, and then went down to a city.  They were tired, and went to a house and asked them for hospitality.  They did as we would do; they refused the grungy looking hobos they saw from entering their house.  Zeus and Hermes continued to ask for house and home for a night, and continued to be refused entry.

Zeus and Hermes stopped at the last house within the city limits, which was perched on a lonely hill.  The people inside the house were very poor, old, and could barely farm at all due to the ungrateful land around them.

When Zeus and Hermes asked these two for a place to rest, they said yes.  Why wouldn’t they? Normal people were supposed to trust other people on this level.  Only an abnormal person would refuse them.

When they entered, Zeus and Hermes both took on their real forms.  They spoke and ate the offerings the old couple, and told them that they were the only ones to grant them hospitality.  As a reward, Zeus flooded the valley.  The flood killed all the people in the city, all the people who didn’t grant them a house to live in.  At the same time, this gave the old couple the most fertile land in the area, and they were prosperous until the end of their days.

This type of trust was the norm, once a long time ago.  Think about that for a second, and you can see just how far we’ve gone from that.

Now Ferraro’s actions make sense.  The “immorality” which Matticus is only the social norm.  Gevlon has described the motto of this world: trust no one.  Does it have to be this way? Only if you make it so, dear reader.

Only if you make it so.

/rantoff