It’s not something that comes to us easily. Oh, it did at first. It wasn’t hard to trust our mother; after all, we’d just spent nine months intimately acquainted with her. She was a safe place for us, and it wasn’t a matter of our having to weigh experience to determine her trustworthiness. It was instinctual.
But somewhere along the way things changed. We began to encounter negative experiences in the world, and unscrupulous people. Innocence gave way to awareness, and gullibility gave way to distrust. Suspicion of others increased like one accumulates parking tickets in the City. No matter how determined we were to trust everyone, we began to realize that we just shouldn’t. It took a piece of our soul to have to come to grips with that reality, and it was a piece that very few people would ever get back. The older we get the more examples we accumulate to draw upon for why we shouldn’t be so trustful. We have a lot of experiences along the way to reinforce the goodness of people too, but it seems like we need about ten of those as a counterbalance for every time we’ve been burned by trusting someone we probably shouldn’t have.
We end up being more mistrustful than trustful.
And we don’t particularly like living that way.
Some people have just had bad luck, or made bad choices in regards to trust. They seem to always trust the wrong people. They seem, somehow, to want to prove to themselves that trusting someone will make the person trustworthy. I know that’s a dynamic parents try and practice with children, and with varying degrees of success, but in the real world?
No, I don’t think so.
We need to find a balance between trust and mistrust. Too much of the former can get a person killed. Too much of the latter can make a person feel dead inside.
But the thing about trusting is that it makes you feel good, like chocolate does. That’s why we want to do it.
But too much chocolate, well, you know,
it has its repercussions.