19 March 2012

Why do we trust and distrust so easily?

Why do we lack so much trust in some areas of our lives and give it away so easily in other areas?

This question came to my mind after reading T. Lorraine F's post on her blog where she talked about this idea.

Yesterday, while sitting outside enjoying the weather, I saw a little girl riding her little bicycle.  Right behind her as she peddled ever so slowly was a minivan.  When the girl reached the next corner, the minivan stopped and the girl stopped and the minivan driver got out and had the girl put her bike in the trunk.  

I watched carefully to make sure this was not a kidnapping, but I could hear that they knew each other and that the mother (?) was done letting the girl ride on her own.  Was it the neighborhood?  Was it because she was test driving the bike?  Was this how she lets the girl ride all the time?  

Have we really become a society where you can't even let your child ride her bike on her own without a minder following behind her?  (What is this North Korea?)
I remember when playgrounds used to be so much fun.  Part of their appeal was the possibility of getting hurt and having a scar to show off.  Pushing the merry-go-round was a thrill because you had to be really fast and be able to hold on tight while you ran around pushing it.  Swing sets were a blast trying to swing as high as possible and jump off at just the right moment so that you would jump farther than the other kids in the competition.  Monkey bars and the flips off of them were totally rad.  They taught coordination and cooperation.  They taught you to brush your shoulders (or knees or elbows) off so that you could get back into the action.

Now playgrounds have rubber floors (literally).  The equipment has been sanitized so much that if a kid gets hurt, that child really shouldn't be out playing at all.  S/he should be wearing a helmet at all times if s/he can't handle a playground in 2012.

I was talking with a great friend the other day and he said that people care less and pay less attention the more things actually matter to them.

Think about it. 

People will sign on the dotted line for a house or a car without actually reading the fine print and knowing where their money will be going.  They click the I Agree box on websites not knowing that they could be followed or their images could be used or they could get in trouble for the way they use the site.

But they will search the internet high and low to find the best coupons for some useless item that they will hoard in their house and not really even use.  They. Will. Find. The. Best. Deal - for soap and cat food.

Politics is even worse.

People will take so much of what a politician tells them as the word without actually researching to find out if what s/he says is true or even possible.  Most of the time, the politician running for office has no way of proving what he says will be accomplished.  Most of the time, there is no game plan as to how to make it happen.  

It is a promise with no backbone. 

Yet people latch onto those promises and decide to vote for that person without even knowing if any of it is true.  This is why there are people who STILL think the current president was not born in this country.

Political-speak just sounds good.

Why do we do this?

Why do we trust those who are not really looking out for us, and distrust the simple things that we know will not do much damage?  

People who played on the old-school playgrounds are still alive and well.  Most of them are not disfigured and they may even have more of a fighting edge to their personalities because everything was not given to them so easily.

Yet, there are so many people suffering economically, socially, and medically because of things that have been voted for or supported without question in politics.

Some laws like the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida may even make it so this man can kill a 17 year old, unarmed (unless you count Skittles and tea) boy and be able to get away with it.  If you haven't heard this story, please click the previous links.


  1. I remember playing outside until the street lights came on. We never worried about strangers, or creepy people in the dark. Maybe my parents worried about such things, but they let us be children. It was a wonderful time.

    1. Those were the days. I wonder, too, if there was no fear in the parents, or if they did, but just let us play anyway. Perhaps a combination of those two.

  2. I hadn't heard about this, so thanks for the easy links, but oh. Oh how it makes my heart hurt -- for the parents who raised him, the little brother who asked him to go get the candy, the friends and community who loved him, for the life that could have been. All the people he could have known and loved and helped.

    This is a true tragedy. Truly.

    They have yet to arrest the guy, or even press charges? Is that right? Because of the law? Honestly I don't understand how the guy who shot him hasn't turned himself in? Hasn't...I don't know. I don't know what would make it okay. Nothing? Maybe that's why the guy has done nothing. Still, not okay. Cause what if he gets away with this, and then does something similar in the future? Another innocent kid dead, poor parents, poor brother, poor friends...

    1. Isn't it horrible?! Have yet to arrest him and now there is a girl who was on the phone with the boy just before the altercation and his murder who tells chilling stories of what he was saying on the phone as the guy stalked him.

  3. I've been following that story, and it's breaking my heart. Sometimes I feel like this world is broken.

    1. It can bring you down.

      But it is a bit reassuring how many people are protesting and signing petitions about this murder. It will feel good if something comes of these efforts.

  4. It is so horribly wrong that this family is having to experience such pain and grief and betrayal in modern times. I was stunned when I first read the story and am son glad it is making the national news.

    1. I am glad it is making national news, too. Hopefully, all the attention and national prominence will help the "system" to do something about this. There is evidence that he went beyond his "neighborhood watch" duties, and that the boy was unarmed... I guess the only hold up is the Stand Your Ground law - which if the boy was unarmed, what is he standing his ground from?

  5. I mis teeter totters at playgrounds. I understand they can whack you on the head if you're not watching where you're going, but I suspect they help teach kids to look before they run. What I *do* know for sure is that they help kids understand algebra later in life. I'm a math tutor, and there is a difference in the ability to grasp the concept of balancing an equation between kids who have spent lots of time on teeter totters and those who haven't.

    Just sayin.
    Thanks for posting!

    Rebecca =)

    1. I hadn't thought of the logical lessons we learned on those things. Teeter totters, the arcs that you need to make the right jump off of the swings, the acceleration to push the merry-go-round... all probably helped with some math skills later.

      What can you even use to show balance with kids now with out a teeter totter example?


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