Thursday, October 21, 2010

You trust people all the time…

On the topic of anxiety and cowardice, there are things that people, however “cynical”, seem to forget or take for granted. Everything around you involves some kind of trust, or some kind of ignorance. Since this blog is here to enlighten, here are some things you probably want to think about.

To stay in a hotel-room you need to trust your fellow guests to not be rapists or robbers, not to accost you in the hall and force their way into your room. You have to trust them not to be perverts, running little cameras through the ventilation system or through the wall to spy on you as you shower or have sex. You have to trust the staff too, as they have easy access and control over the rooms before you have checked in. To eat at a restaurant you have to trust that the cooks are not bigots, whether racist or homophobic or religious. I find it fascinating that people will eat food prepared by people they openly loathe and are known to loathe. American slave-owners used to eat food cooked by slaves, in the present day Conservatives eat in restaurants whose kitchen staff is almost consistently Latin American.

Most worshipers trust that their cleric is telling them the truth and not taking advantage of their ignorance. To take the news seriously you have to trust that the journalists are not lying to you. Corroborating information using other sources is not a reliable means of determining truthfulness as they could all be lying to you, or all be equally ignorant and apathetic.

To drive you trust your car-makers, your mechanic, and the other users of the road. You trust your bankers to keep your money safe. You trust food and drug companies and farmers to not tamper with what you put into your bodies. You trust condom makers to make a reliable product, you bet your life on that. Most people trust their spouses to not sleep around every time they leave the house. You place a lot faith in your fellow man.

You live your lives trusting, expecting goodness from the future, your faith is in the unseen future whether or not you believe in a deity. You still believe in blessings from that which you do not know and have not seen. There is no reason that you should. You rely on strangers who have no reason to look out for you. Your inability to imagine the worst, your belief in “luck”, is seen as courage. For people who are largely fearful (and most people, everywhere, are fearful, fear-motivated), the lack of consistency in the things feared is glaring, almost to the point of being absurd.

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