Limits on Trust, Community in Context, and the Blissful Ignorance
Can we just acknowledge how hard it can be to trust people in general, no matter how healthy you are?
This is something that never ceases to fascinate me, and can be really hard to accept, no matter a person is. I like to think the concept of earning a person’s trust is a blessing in a way, because if you really mean what you say and live “on purpose”, it can take a good amount of time to grow to trust other people. That is healthy. Yet, just imagine how small trust can be. How much can be missing in not knowing the people who live and breathe and work all around you?
Part of me craves to know where my food is coming from, and who grew it. Part of me needs to know about whether the cashier behind the counter’s cough will go away. I like being part of a community, and I’m not always sure what that is like, anymore. We all create our own communities here on earth, in friends, in family, in the people we choose to talk to. Despite all the freedom I have, I miss having no choice sometimes. Back when I simply had to get along with people, when I was younger, I had to work harder to overcome those differences, and learn to grow beyond it. I miss it.
There are so many counter-intuitive forces that are really just backwards versions of the cravings everyone supposedly has. I don’t think people are so different, because I know we all need the exact same things, no matter how we try to express or seek them. We all need love, companionship, the feeling of being understood, someone to speak to in our language, family, relationships that are semi-continuous; even if they are just with the people who knew you as a child. We crave to be able to strengthen our communities, even if we never confront the deep seated longing behind that feeling. To contribute to something greater than ourselves: we all need that.
For every instance where humans have needed to be different, would you dare to imagine with me that maybe, we equally need to be the same? The things that you can’t explain and can’t always excuse. The similarities that get you glares instead of knowing smiles. The things that we can’t quantify and could never attempt to study, but are equally real. I want to learn about those things.
Language is hardly the most important obstacle to loving other people; it’s your attitude. We have these beautiful tapestries in words, and we bicker over them. You don’t need to speak to understand. If you’ve never seen babies communicate as babies do, then can’t you imagine how grown humans could naturally care, but equally deeply? If I abandon my prejudice, and just as equally, my shame in not knowing, we can be the same. And even if I am imperfect regardless, I would want to be the same imperfect as you.
This entire world is stunning, in all of its emotions, and in all the people that equally experience them, even if they don’t call them by the same names. We celebrate different and the same amounts of knowledge, and we feel. If you can’t understand your own mortality staring at a baby in the supermarket and realizing that peek-a-boo transcends your own current understanding of how small things “must be”, then can you really say you are alive? Love is so much greater, as a whole.
I’m not sure what to say sometimes, to a lot of these things. I get pretty upset when I don’t have more to offer. In a way, I wish I could give away all that I have. But common sense tells me to hold on to at least a handful, to grow it for later, and preserve it until it might be big enough to mean something even larger. Like jars of oil growing into a small business, I love the idea of making something more valuable over time. Isn’t that how it should be? You trust in God, and his love grows.
It may be common sense, but the older I get, the more I realize I’m even more clueless than I ever realized initially or could really ever imagine. The more I talk to my elders, the more I realize how little I know about what goes on around me, when it comes to things that hurt people. I simply do not know.
To me, the way I see the world is not idealism. It’s a choice, to appreciate what is there instead of what isn’t. I’m not entirely sure what all is out there, and I like it that way. I may be comfortable here in my bubble of intentionally doing what I can to protect myself and others, but I chose it that way, and I work to defend it, having been blessed. I find that most of any kind of garbage comes from the things I allow myself to accept, thus, I accept not knowing. If it makes me safer and the people I love happier, I would accept infinitely more, I’m afraid. The danger comes in the lack of balance and regard for another person’s shared humanity. I don’t want to be someone who thinks they know everything, but in reality, is really quite miserable. I feel like I can serve others better when I limit my reality to the things that I can control and give God the things I cannot. Apart from that, I’m happy where I am, and that happiness is what frees a person; it doesn’t limit.