Of trust and suspicion

Today’s society has its roots in the civilization which began a  few thousands of years ago. At that time, few intelligent humans worked out a way to get food without moving around. To cut long story short, they discovered agriculture. Before this discovery, people were part of nomadic tribes wandering around the forests in search of food and water. Strangely, this discovery also led to first human settlements letting humans with similar interests to live together. This was the precursor to the society that exists today. Independent of which age it is, the society is built on the foundation of trust. Once upon a time, there existed a feeling of trust that your neighbour will not kill you or rob you, trust that merchant would not overcharge, trust that doctor will give you the right medicine and not treat you as a guinea pig. The violation of this trust could be unsettling to many of us. The reason is not hard to find. We are gullible and credulous by our nature. We know that a fellow human being may not be so bad after all. But unfortunately, we find these cases of violation recurring so often in our present society, that we have let go of trust altogether. It could be as simple as buying vegetables from the vendor. We believe that he overcharges and we haggle to get a better deal. We know that the same thing is happening in a shopping mall. We are being overcharged for a piece of cloth. But we pay for it with our trap shut. The reason is that if we wear these branded clothes, we feel that we will be recognized. In this case, trust is being compromised for false incentive of recognition. Returning back to our case, we are being overcharged or not, we feel we are being cheated.

Society therefore, has lost its meaning. Society was meant to be for security and safety, for ensuring peace and for like-minded people to meet. Today society has just reduced to a market where goods and services are sold and bought.  Everyone who moves about in this market has got just one thought in his head : “What is in it for me ?”. Market was a part of the society in ancient times. Today, I am sorry to say, the society has reduced to a shopping mall where poor do window shopping and the rich enjoy the pleasures. Trust has been replaced with its vicious counterpart, suspicion. Mind you, this serpent has dug deep into the society shaking its roots. People are suspicious about everything. They have the right to be suspicious for there are few tricksters and malicious crooks who would try every possible trick to get hold of your money. But, suspicion has its own side-effects. The good people are also treated with suspicion and they have to justify to exonerate themselves. In the local transport, you see people around who don’t talk or even smile. They believe if the other person will not smile, they will be offended. The small chat which used to be common in the erstwhile human settlements( still found in some villages) is lost in the formal etiquettes of cities. We have forgotten how to smile, how to talk about each other’s health and painfully,we have forgotten how to express our emotions to strangers. Suspicion has taken its toll in other avenues as well. As I mentioned before, we think twice before buying anything or taking any decision. It takes many days of hard work and good behaviour to gain employer’s trust. Everyone is recruited into a company for a “probation” period. If we keep cultivating this feeling of suspicion, we would become increasingly complex in our behaviours and lose the peace of our mind. We have been suspecting for quite long. Probably, we can give trust another chance.

Trust people. When we trust them, they are less likely to cheat you for they are human beings too. Let’s build a world of trust around us. Just as a jumping child trusts his father to catch him without letting him fall.

Trust of a child


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