It’s really ironic, isn’t it?

Each one of us implicitly trusts many strangers and depend on them to lead our lives  but when it comes to trusting someone known to us, we get fidgety and try to figure out checks and balances.  Really ironic, isn’t it?

We get up in the morning and find the newspaper delivered along with the milk.  It doesn’t really occur to us that probably the milk is contaminated with some dangerous substance or that the newspaper deliberately is reporting news that hasn’t happened!!  We have the breakfast heartily because we trust those who produced the grains and the vegetables!!  For those who pop up pills for some medical problem or other, there is simply no question of the drugs being fake, impure or adulterated!!

We then set out to work.  Again we do not even pause to think that there could be drunk drivers on the road or drivers who have not slept for a long while and hence might fall asleep at the wheels.  We don’t ponder over what will happen if the brake in the bus behind us isn’t working.  We know none of those people and we have not tested the brakes of other vehicles (that we do not have even our brakes tested regularly is yet another question) but we trust in them and carry on with our lives.  I could go on and on but I’m sure that the message is clear!!

But when it comes with people we know like our family members, bosses,  subordinates, colleagues, customers, vendors  et al, there is a need to constantly check if things are working properly because we do not have an implicit trust in them that they will do their job.  I am not implying that everyone will do their job as planned all the time but am concerned about our obsession to  ensure that things happen as designed.  An example may be helpful.

Lets say we have asked a colleague to get us some information on a particular project.  We think that he may be busy and forget or may not do it at all and hence resort to reminding him by email/sms/ calls at regular intervals.  We might do it gently and without being seen as malicious and under the pretext of  making it easy for him but underneath all that is a clear lack of Trust that he will deliver as planned.  Lets for a moment put ourselves in his shoes and see how he will feel about our reminders.  We will treat it as an intrusion and worse a sign that the other one is not trusting us.

It is the same story with our children where we do not give them the space they deserve  be it packing their books or polishing their shoes and constantly check if things are ok.  While we really want to be model parents, what we do not realize is that we are sending a very strong signal that we do not think they are capable of doing their work on their own.  That’s when they start to rebel because there is no longer a mutual Trust.

Need I say more!!  I know that I have stirred a hornet’s nest (including at my end) and that is my intention too.  Can we give up on our obsession for control and let Trust be the all-pervading force when we deal with people we know in the same manner we Trust the pilot, bus driver, the milk man and so on?




  1. N Ramesh said,

    February 27, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Dear Badri,

    A Good Food for Thought indeed ! But at the same time it may even make a person ponder over it for a while. And it he by any chance stretches it and mulls it over for some time, he tend to get into the domain of worrying besides triggering off several other emotional upsurges that are connected to it (especially in an untrained and unprepared mind !), leave alone creating upheavals within himself, which may even lead to a paranoid conditions, if not finally end up being declared as a Paranoid by a third rate, insensitive; modern psychiatrist !

    And so, it is better that such sensitive stuff (including some of the well loaded contents of this blog post !) are not openly debated amidst certain unprepared and untrained minds you are virtually all around us, especially the Netizens and the Geeks who all are vulnerable to take things in the wrong way given even a slight chance to them by a person like you, although all your words and expressions are well intended !

    That’s it for the time being !

    Thus Spake N Ra !

    • badrirag said,

      February 27, 2012 at 7:18 am

      Dear Ramesh,

      Thank you for sharing your concerns, which are well-intentioned. I can see that my post can possibly trigger in the readers, worries about things that we normally do not even give a single thought to, but that is a risk worth taking in the larger context of building trust amongst people we know well.


  2. Anirudh Badri said,

    February 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    A new idea indeed. When you think about it, it seems true, though it really isn’t. It is merely human nature to check up on what one can. We know that we possibly cannot chemically test each grain of food etc as it is out of our control. So we decide to not worry about it and soon that turns into the ‘trust’

    But we can, and definitely do keep a tab on whatever is humanly possible, like checking up on our friends etc. It is perfectly justified and there is nothing wrong with anybody trying to create some sphere of control.

    The statement that the rebellion &/or unpleasantness caused by this checking up is also not necessarily true. Many times, we do indeed forget something and find reminders useful. Agreed, constant reminders are often irritating but the inconvenience is hardly at a level that causes anger or hate.

    And thus a long and rambling comment ends

    • badrirag said,

      February 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Dear Anirudh,

      Thanks for sharing your perspectives and it is a pointed (no rambling at all) response. While it may be true that Trust is a consequence of inability to check or enforce, it can also be a conscious choice and certainly with people we know and move with. Look at the wasted energy, efforts and time that go in a relationship where there is no trust and one will start wondering whether it is worth it in the first place!!

      Keep writing and sharing



  3. govi13 said,

    February 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Thanks a lot, Badri – lot to learn for me here. Hope someday I am able to live by these ideals. I personally find this very, very difficult to do. I hope, though.

    • badrirag said,

      February 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm


      The moment you have made Trust as something “ideal”, you have created a huge distance to cross and the additional term “someday” has made it even worse. Trust is your natural way of being and so just be yourself and you will find trust flowing. Thanks for sharing.


  4. March 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    […] It’s really ironic, isn’t it? ( […]

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