Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In what do we trust?

It's funny, isn't it. Someone says something, with which you think you completely agree, only to find, after a period of reflection, that you don't agree with it at all!

Enough waffling . . . you'd like me to be specific.

"You can't trust anyone these days," said a friend the other day.
I thought about the daily diet of exposures offered to us by the Press, and sadly agreed. We did seem to be living in a world where trust could only be given grudgingly, if at all.

To cheer us up, and dispel this depressing thought, I went into the kitchen to prepare the tea. The water poured freely from the tap into the kettle. I allowed it to boil. I then took the tea-bag from its box and put it into the tea-pot. Finally, I found the cake that I'd bought the day before, and placed it, together with a knife, on a plate.
Our tea was nearly ready.

Only then did I realise that the whole operation had been one of total trust. I had never questioned that water would flow from the tap, nor had I doubted its quality. I had taken it for granted that the electricity supply would power the kettle, and it hadn't crossed my mind that there might be anything harmful in the tea-bag. The fact that the cake was fully edible, not to mention delicious, had never been a matter of doubt.

After my friend had departed, I reflected on the amount of trust that each one of us displays every day.
We trust that the air we breathe will not harm us . . . we trust that the shops will be open in the morning and that there will be food on the shelves . . . we trust the abilities of the bus driver who takes us home with our shopping. A friend offers us a chocolate, and never for a moment do we doubt the integrity of the chocolate-maker (nor our friend's good intentions).

After reflection, it struck me forcibly that human lives, from dawn to dusk, are one long example of the art of trust.

Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, all this is far more important than any creative accountancy in Westminster or the City?

I'm now trusting that the unfathomable mysteries and wonders of modern technology will deliver this letter safely . . . and, if you're reading it, my trust has been fully justified!