Friday, May 6, 2011

Are you a trusting person? I'm not sure I believe you.

In the words of any nineteenth century gold prospector, "Cinnamon and gravy, it's been an outlandish week!"

It has indeed. To top things off with a hearty dollop of bizarre, this headline graced the home page of Friday morning's Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Al-Qaida Confirms Osama Bin Laden's Death.

Let me get this straight—our government, although opting not to release images of Bin Laden's body, nonetheless provided concrete proof of his deadness to Al-Qaida?

What did the Americans do, swing by a cave to pick up a couple of AQ higher-ups, climb into a bathysphere with a good flashlight and motor down to the bottom of the North Arabian Sea to check out Osama's new status as a Red Lobster for red lobsters?

Probably not, which makes a headline like that so much stranger and so ironic. Here's Al-Qaida, an organization which prides itself on misdirection and propaganda, yet buys off on its enemy's account of the truth.

Meanwhile, a large contingent of the non-suicide-bombing public remains skeptical of anything portrayed by anyone with a "White House" logo perched on the wall behind them. Since, in my last post, I also blathered about our mistrust in the veracity of government news releases, I won't go much further here.

Let's just say, after the Bush administration's bait and switch tactics about WMDs and Iraq's involvement in September 11, we've become one huge state of Missouri. Trust has been lacking and trust must be earned back.

As the week approaches its close, I'm left contemplating what an important role this concept of trust holds in our lives. We must either trust others or live a life of isolation.

I've decided it might help to separate trust by degrees, starting with the lowest degree and working toward the highest. Since I've so frequently mentioned the government, they'll be excluded from this exercise, so here goes:

Anyone with the word "dealer" in his or her job description—For example, used car dealers, drug dealers or unaccounted for nuclear weapons dealers aren't trustworthy at all, yet we've all dealt with at least one of these. By the way, remind me to call that guy about that plutonium he shorted me on.

Complete stranger trust—It really is amazing how often we trust someone whom we've never seen nor spoken to.

"Can you watch my beer? I'm here by myself and I really have to pee," or

"Will you take our picture after we get to the top of that forty foot rock wall? It's for our Christmas card and this new camera is really good at zooming in. Thanks."

Friend trust—This can go either way.

It can be anything from, "Dude, I'm here for you. You know I'll bail you out. Just give me until Monday because I'm bonding with a cutie over an X Files marathon," to

"Dude, I'm here for you. You know I'll bail you out if you help my Grandpa deliver calves this summer while I go to Spain."

Medical/Dental trust—We really have no choice here.

We can only pray that our doctor doesn't employ an alternative form of medicine. "Your mole tastes benign, but I'll have to perform more tests after I get over this cold." No thanks.

We also don't want a dentist who giggles and whispers his mother's name to himself while drilling.

Family trust—Ultimately, we must place unconditional trust in our families.

With children, it's always a slippery slope: "Dad, I didn't tell you about my secret hamster because I know you're scared of corn dog-sized mammals. Mom's not, and she says she's never been more unattracted to you than when you did that man scream. Can I keep him, anyway?"

Spouses must be held to the highest standard; nothing can supersede the sanctity of marital trustworthiness. And so, when she comes home as the clock glows 3:46, smelling of Old Spice, pipe tobacco and hummus, believe her when she tells you she was working the snack table at the Senior Center Easter Sock Hop. Do not let your imagination take you to her practicing the Kama Sutra with a Turkish hookah magnate.

Now that our week is at an end, let's resolve to trust each other a little more next week, and a little more the week after.

If not, the terrorists have won.

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