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Trust is the Charlemagne, Genghis Khan and Kevin Bacon of interactions between feeling beings.

Due to recent events, I am wondering whether trust is at the root of every action or inaction mankind has ever taken. Sometimes, the motivation might be greed or revenge, hunger; but often, for better or worse, it is one's conviction that someone else will or won't do something that spawns another action and makes the world go round. In addition to hunger, ultimately, it is a lioness' confidence in her speed that empowers her to chase the antelope; conversely, it is lack of faith in her overall strength that deters her from running down a lumbering elephant. Trust inspires a cat to lie down in front of his master when he is in the middle of his P90X workout and a dog to roll onto the floor next to his owner who has just begun hammering together a piece of furniture. At its best, trust is pure faith. It is an assuredness that you can rely on someone or something. It fosters love and cements peace; it allows contentment. Distrust, however, breeds insecurity, paranoia, envy, desperation, restlessness and war.

Sometimes the circumstances are relatively harmless such as trusting your children not to seek out their presents before Christmas; at other times the ramifications are much more severe. How many of us loved someone and found out later that we could not trust them? Ouch? How did that weigh on our next effort at a relationship? North Korea and the nuclear bomb test; Christopher Dorner and the LA Police; Newtown, Connecticut and gun control; and the Government are all hot button events and entities currently viewed through impassioned lenses of belief or skepticism. Whenever people speak of a conspiracy they are expressing cynicism and distrust. Conspiracy and hoax theories have revolved around major events such as the Holocaust, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 911, and now there are websites claiming the Connecticut school shooting was set up by anti-gun activists. I believed, early on, that Dorner would not be taken alive because there were probably significant truths revealed in his manifesto (despite the fact that murder is still murder and two wrongs don't make a right, in an era of suspicion, can we believe he actually killed anyone?) that, come hail of bullets or some accident, the LA Police force would not allow him the opportunity to sit in court and expound. The United States and several other global nations do not trust that North Korea will only wield nuclear capabilities for their own defense. America and the other governments believe North Korea would use nuclear power for aggression and not to preserve peace as America and the other nations want the world to believe they do. But to a North Korean who is trying to live his or her life just as normally as any citizen of the United States, to what evidence or rationale should they cling and trust that another nation would never harm them if they accept their own country being less well armed? Or viewed simply from the flip side, would we accept any other country telling us what to do? We certainly didn't with England, Oh Say Can You See? At this point, I think it's safe to say, our nations hope we will never choose to attack each other, but that belief is not iron clad.

Every day events and experiences strengthen or weaken our personal, local, national and international levels of trust. Relationships between married couples, parents and kids, friends, business partners, and neighbors teeter on what one person imagines another is thinking or saying the moment they leave a room or doorstep. I don't know if any of what this blog addresses takes this discussion anywhere except to reinforce how special it is to find people in your life you truly trust and how horribly painful, detrimental and sad it is that so often we feed upon the fear of deception and ask to recount ballots, verify birth certificates, demand to see our lover's last cell phone text...and still don't believe what we see.

Chris Haley - 2/16/2013 11:59 PM

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