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Friday
Oct232015

trust yourself, trust others

I used to go to a corner shop in Oxford all the time. I'd buy milk, biscuits, newspapers- maybe twice a week for months. One day I didn't have enough money- instead of trusting me the shopkeeper said, with the fake appearance of helpfulness, 'I'll put it on one side for you.' He didn't trust me, or, rather, he trusted his 'system' better- his system being 'never give credit'. In Egypt systems are suspect. No one trusts them much. But they trust people. What that means is: they trust themselves to judge whether someone is a good for their money or not.

I used to think trust was like gambling. Some people have nerve- they go for the big pot and sometimes win and sometimes lose. But trust isn't gambling, it's the real form that certainty takes. (There are myriad fake forms of certainty- all various kinds of obsession or monomania). So, in Egypt, you can go into a shop you've never been to before, have not enough change and they'll trust you to come back and pay. They trust themselves, you see, to know what a trustworthy person looks like. It's not so crazy- in the West we trust ourselves to drive fast on motorways without crashing or losing our nerve, we trust ourselves to hit a ball over the net with a tennis racket even though the racket has no 'sights' or aiming mechanism. The problem is that we face many years of schooling that attenuates our natural ability to trust ourselves, and, instead of developing that ability and growing it, education stunts it and shunts it off into trivial areas such as sports and driving...

The West in its current form is largely, in its official capacities, centred around dismantling trust situations and replacing them with machines, systems, ideas, questionaires, 'transparency' and other forms of evading the issue. Which is: learn to trust yourself. It starts small: can you trust yourself to get from A to B with a map? Without a map? Trust yourself to make money from a business? Trust yourself to bring up children? A great traveller, Helena Edwards once told me, 'On every journey there comes a point when you just have to trust.' You have to trust yourself at that point without any help from google, friends comments, ideas, theories- you have to take the plunge and trust. And in those situations it always works. Trust me.

Governments don't trust us? Why? They don't trust themselves. People who want to 'change the world' imagine that if they got a new government things would be better. But who governs us, in the West, is far less significant than learning to trust yourself. This is the beginning of a real world changer- trust yourself, trust others. It's catching.

 

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