Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: March 2010

Earning Trust

Some times you have those defining moments where something suddenly makes sense.  This can be something as complex as looking at an equation for years and not knowing how to complete it and then, one day and out of the blue, you look at it and it makes perfect sense.  Or something as simple as the arrangements of the magnets on the refrigerator door and you realize you really do not like them or any of the places that they advertise.

Today, it was one of those mundane things that suddenly came into clarity for me.  Yet the topic is important and should not be considered so mundane.

I was thinking about why it is so hard for me to trust people.  Even many of the people that are around me on a regular basis, I sometimes find hard to bring myself to trust 100%.

So… I am sitting here looking at some documentation that I am working on.  Then, as my mind sometimes does when I am working with things that let me go on “Autopilot”, and I start thinking of the company that I work for… my “Day Job”.  I thought about the work they have me do and how much trust they put in me to accomplish what I do.  Suddenly it dawns on me…

I thought about what I could use as an example of trust and how it is earned, and the thought came to me that this is something like learning to swim in a lake.

While it is not unheard of for a person to just dive into a lake that they are not familiar with, it is sometimes wise to test the waters first.  Wade in a little bit, feel the water, the temperature, look for any sharp rocks then swim out a little.  Keeping an eye on the shore at all times.  All the time being aware of potential threats both in the water and on the shore.

People and developing trust in them, is not much different.  You will not go up to a person that you are not familiar with and trust them with the keys to your house or car.  If you do not KNOW the person, either as at least an acquaintance, you will probably never trust them that far.  But if you are familiar with them, you might start small.

You would trust them with little things, keeping important matters confidential or to work with you on delicate matters without sharing the information with others that do not need to know what is going on.  This is the part where you start testing the waters.  Seeing if the swim is worth it.

As time goes on, you might entrust this person with more information or details that you do not want shared, yet you might want to share with SOMEONE.  In spite of what some may tell you, I feel that it is human nature to want to trust and share your life with others.  But through experience and the process of being let down, there are many out there that build up walls and do not want to let others into their lives to trust.

I am one of those people.  I find it very hard to trust others, even the littlest amount.  So I shut people out except for those that I already know and trust.  As you might understand, this firewall that I have put up makes finding new friends hard.  I might even say impossible.  I have been burned a few times through my life, but I think that maybe I went too far with how I lock people out of my life.  This is something that I think needs to change a little.

So I will promise to myself, that with this new… or at least new to ME… Revelation, that I will start training myself to allow a certain amount of trust to more people.  I will begin teaching myself to test those waters and find people that I can trust, with whom I can share, that are outside my present circle of friends.  Over time, those that I meet and let into my inner circle will help me to learn to not be so critical of others.

I do not expect this to be a quick transition.  When you spend so many of your years of life learning to find reasons not to let people into your life for fear of getting burned, it is no easy task to unlearn this.  I expect to be at odds with myself for some time as I retrain my thinking to be more open with others.  To not listing to a person and automatically assume that they are lying without having any past knowledge of the person.

This is going to be an interesting journey for me.  I will have to steer my course with caution and watch out for hazards.

Do you have a trust or relationship story you would like to share with me?  Advice from your own experiences? Please do.


My Bread Machine and me.

You know.  When the automatic bread makers first came out, I was one of their biggest opponents.

“You’ll never catch me using one of those infernal beasts”, you would hear me say, as I donned my white fedora and strode out of the room with my dignity firmly in hand.

Ok…  so the imagery is a little wrong and as for dignity… well…

So a few years ago I was walking through my 3rd favorite place to shop, which is the Goodwill Store, and there… sitting on the shelf… with this eerie glow and pale halo around it is a Oster Bread Machine.  Almost brand new with little or no damage or apparent use to it at all.

So I take a look at it.  The price label says $10, so I ask a clerk about the price.  This is something that you do not want to do in a Goodwill or Salvation Army store.  While I appreciate the work that they do, the people that work the floor tend to be either rude or clueless.

Twenty minutes after I have asked, and with no one seemingly able to find anyone who knows anything about the pricing of any of their products, I just grab it and walk to the front counter, set my discovery down and pay for it.  I figure that if nothing else, I can always find a use for the parts if it does not survive the first effort to make a loaf of bread.

That evening I show my find to my wife, who looks it over and at me in much the same way that she would have were our cat to bring in a dead bird and offer it to her.  She scoffs at it and makes some sounds that while they may have been dismissive, the “Guy” portion of my brain incorrectly translates them into “Go ahead honey… make us a loaf.’

So I do…  again and again and again… over the next few nights, I made several loafs of bread.  All of it was quite good and the process was pretty easy.  So in a short period of time, I became a Bread Machine convert.

Now, to be clear.  I do know how to make a loaf of bread without the machine.  This was something that my mother taught me years ago as a child.  You see… that was the first battery of things that I was taught… cooking.  My wife never lets me forget that she is very happy to have a husband that knows how to and enjoys cooking.  The only part that I have never enjoyed about making bread, and I know that there has to be several of you out there that agree, is the kneeding process.

I know that there are people out there that swear by kneading a loaf of bread on a regular basis.  Hell, I would be willing to bet that half the women in France and Italy during the second world war could have knocked most of the Nazis on their asses with the biceps and pecs that they had built up from years of kneading bread dough.  It might still be the same way today, I could not tell you for certain.  Though I AM certain that I will get at least one person complaining about my ethnic remark above.

There is, however, something kind of neat about having this machine in the house.  I use it often… but not always to bake bread.  Many times, these days, I will use it solely for the purpose of KNEADING the bread for me.  Then, when the dough is ready, I will turn it out into a pan and bake it.  Presto… Bread.

So I do enjoy making bread with this thing… it is fun.  This thing make bread making so fun and easy that were I to also start handing out fishes… well… never mind, that joke might cause a whole new crap storm for me.

Good night.

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