Sunday, October 30, 2005

Trysts with Trust

"Never try to prove anything because those that care don't matter and those that matter don't care". A very cliched line but a line that leads to a million thoughts. Matter. Who does? Hmmm...friends I guess and the people we trust. Which brings a very interesting thought process.

I remember clearly the first feelings I had when - a long time ago - I heard the line, "Don't Trust Anybody". It seemed so cynical and so pessimistic that I was almost contemptuous in my dismissal of this way of looking at life and the people that we meet...even the people we befriend. Just a few days later, it was with similar emotions that I tossed aside this book on the teachings of Kautilya at the point where he said, "Careful what you say, for your best friend is your worst enemy". Huh? I mean, if my best friend is my worst enemy, who's my friend really? So, that implies that I trust nobody. And I couldn't take that as something I was willing to believe in...

I've never been one for having a large group of friends. Not after college in any case. As a 15-year old I too passed through a short time when the sheer size of my "group" filled me with pride. That bubble - as all bubbles are wont to do - burst very quickly. The wisdom of being wise in choosing friends soon became apparent to me. It sounds so cynical, but really, how many people can you really allow close? At the same time, once a person is close, can you really define how close? Isn't trust implicit once someone is a friend? After all, the world would be so dreary if you were always wondering just how much to reveal to a close friend... Come to think of it, could you then define that person as a "close" friend at all?

As life has worn on though and in the years that have passed since those days, those very words have passed through my mind a few times. And each time, there has been a reinforcement of the philosophy they contain. Somehow, whether it iss just me getting cynical with time or whether it is just the nature of life, events transpire and Life conspires and I stand today at a crossroads on this one. I don't know the answer and perhaps never will. And yet, there is such a great temptation to dig deeper into this...

None of us really trusts anyone completely. There is a part of us - even in the most "extroverted" ones among us, that is completely private. A part that no person other than us can even venture into, let alone know. And like it or not, we do define individual and distinct limits on how far each person ventures even into the "public" persons of us. We define how much we can bare and how much we won't. There is no person that - as the cliche goes - "knows us inside out". It just doesn't happen. The nature of the human being will not allow it to happen; just in the manner that it won't allow even us to know ourselves completely (apart from those few great minds that it is said have actually reached that ultimate state of consciousness).

Then again, if a friend of mine trusts me with certain information, what should I take that as? Do I keep it solely to myself? Or is it my duty to let someone else know as well, if that other person is also a close friend and is somehow related to this? Perhaps this is the most difficult part and the part that lends truth to those two statements I mentioned earlier. Perhaps this is the part that causes the breaking down of the entire mechanism of trust; because this is where things now come down to how we, as individuals see the rules of the game. After all, at the end of the day, we are the ones that define the rules that we play by. Nothing and nobody can lay those down for us excepting ourselves.

And yet, for all the darkness that these thoughts reveal, there is that implicit need for everyone to have a few people that they can actually relate to enough to be honest. None of us is really a complete island. As self-sufficient as we are, we do need support at times - apart once again for those select few that I mentioned ealier in the parantheses. For most of us, friends are not just an integral part of life - they are necessities. They may change, they may pass with time, but the need remains...

And this brings me back to the eternal paradox. You need someone to believein and this need is for your own benefit and yet, your own benifit requires seemingly, that you don't reveal anything; but the not revealing part thereby leads to the fact that you shouldn't then need the person...because that need is predicated on your need to believe...so where does the truth lie? Somewhere in between? Can there really be a between?

Perhaps the answer is in being as abstract as one can. Perhaps the answer is a riddle in itself. Or perhaps the answer lies much deeper. I for one am too small a person to figure that one out and yet, I do hope someone could actually point out the answer to me. I might actually get it if someone were to spell it out in obvious words. Then again, would that require the person to trust me? Almost funny how every answer and every question is so paradoxical - at least it all seems paradoxical to me!

If abstractness is indeed the answer, then it would seem that women have a head-start in that regard; what with all that hinting that they so habitually indulge in. And if it is not the answer, then let me make a formal appeal - once again. I think it's probably the googolth time now - to all women to kindly take pity on the lesser intellect of the male species and stop indulging in this highly cruel practise.

As Point No. 475,376 in the "1,000,000 things men wish women knew" mail went:

"Don't give us subtle hints. Don't give us direct hints. Bottomline: Don't give us hints. Say whatever you have to!!!!"

Yes, I know that this post is completely arbitrary, unconnected and perhaps even incoherent to the point of bordering on senselessness, but it's just a random musing. Just me puzzling over a question - whether we need to prove anything - while writing and writing the words that pass through the mind, as they pass through the mind. Trust me... ;-)

Oh! And just before I press that "Submit" button that will launch this brooding of mine into the oblivion that is cyberspace, here's another thought. Maybe the answer to it is in that first line itself... It doesn't matter...

6 comments:

Zarine said...

Hmm,true.How much can we trust our close pals? A pal of mine recently told me this :- "Let the world know 60% of what you actually are,your friend circle knows 75%,and jus one or mebbe a handful buncha close buddies know 90%.None should know 100% of what you are." Mebbe its difficult to define these percentages wrt our lives,but being MBAs,we cant help but quantify everything ;)

I tght it was a strange thing to say,but now I'd agree.They are certain things I wouldnt be comfy with,if a second person knew abt it.So that constitutes tht hidden 10% mebbe.

Nice post,save the end.Keep the mars/venus thingie outta this.Your best posts have been the ones which were devoid of it.

Love,
Z..!:)

Anonymous said...

yes..Time's a cynic but in this case i guess it's just the nature of life...
(or err..does the nature of life make Time a cynic??..whatever!)

n yeah Zarine's right...why bring the mars/venus thingy here...
why trivialize such profound thoughts!

n hey...r u really so cynical that u get mid-nightmares abt acquaintanceship that u don't care to check out Satan's number?? ;)

Susie

Darth Midnightmare said...

@Zarine: 90%? I don't think we ourselves even know 10% about ourselves...

@Susie: Perhaps the problem is how we think of cynicism...maybe that is where the cynicism lies...in the words of Syd Barrett, "What exactly is a dream and what exactly is a joke?"

As for the point you raise on the Mars/Venus thing, I just feel you got that wrong. It's not any attempt at implying anything like that. I don't even know why I put it there. It was just an event in a chain and it got there... Like I said, my words just go with my thoughts on that one with no attempt at adding anything...

Or of course, it could all just be a reflection of something that forms a part of a puzzle...who knows? Not me...

Darth Midnightmare said...

Then again, at times I feel that directness rarely helped. Abstractness should be attained...and when you're too deep into something and realise that perhaps someone else should not be, humour is the answer. Errr...yeah, I think this is the time for another strange analogy, but just like a teetotaler with a pub, I think I'll give it a pass... I think I made the point...

Anonymous said...
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deepti said...

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