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Friday, December 12, 2003

Self-love, and all that jazz

Everyone talks about the problems of trusting others as if it is the be all, end all of risks an individual can take. The familiar maxims about putting your heart, your mind, your whatever in the hands of another and the ultimate act of trust this entails render the situation rather translucent. I can't help but think, however, that this may not be the case.

When you trust another person, all that is at stake, ultimately, is the direct consequence of whatever trust you put in them. Trust another person with your heart, and the worst that can happen is they break it. Trust them at work, and you may be fired. Trust them in school, and you may fail a course. The worst case scenario is always something which renders pain or discomfort, but leaves the core of a person intact. At the end of the day, the blame is always assigned elsewhere - the fault is not with the individual trusting, but the curator of that trust. The one who failed to appreciate the gravity of the charge they were rendered, or even in full understanding, did not live up to it. The final score on the count of things that matter comes up on the side of trust.

It's when a person is forced to have faith in themself that there is really the potential for damage. When someone, without information or planning, has to accept that they are good enough and can rely on their own attributes to pull something through. Or, in the worst case, when they have to rely on themself to be good enough to pass the judgement of another person. The harm when one enters a relationship of some sort isn't that they have to trust the other person not to hurt them, the harm is that they have to have faith in their own worth to where they are deserving of the other. That's the hard thing - accepting not only ones limitations, but also their strengths.

This symmetry is really what gives faith or trust or whatever its power. That everyone ends up at stake, and the real potential for loss is never on the person giving faith. Trusting other people is easy. Trusting yourself seems to be what's hard.

cranked out at 11:27 AM | |

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