There is a very grave danger in which we as people live in on this planet although most people don’t even know the extent. We operate with this one questionable law which I have termed unconditional trust.
What do you mean by unconditional trust?
Glad you asked. By my own definition, unconditional trust is the type of trust that is based on assumption that the person/s who you are dealing with, who we are trusting with our lives, our finances, our possessions or even our security is 100 per cent capable of doing the job so well.
We don’t even have to see any reason/s in asking for his/her capacity, experience and zeal in getting the job done. We just simply assume everything is ok. It is called unconditional trust.
Let me tell you a small story as it happened to me recently. I had the rare chance to transport some examination candidates who were going for an examination to another town where they were going to write their examination.
We were three inside the vehicle and I was the driver. As we progressed in our journey, since we had some space inside the vehicle, we decided to make some little extra cash by taking more people along with us in the vehicle and charge them for the rare service we are providing.
Soon as luck would have it, we saw four people who were somewhat obviously stranded. When we enquired about their destination, it turned out that they were also heading to the same place like us. We announced that we can only take two people and it was like a fight between them in choosing the ones we were going to take or drop. Soon transaction was concluded and they agreed on the amount we charged them. In the end, the two that will be embarking on the journey joined us and we left after wishing the other ones we were leaving behind good luck.
Don’t ask me the type of luck that was going to be anyway if another vehicle does not happen by.
We were now five inside the vehicle and I was still the driver. Occasionally, I will glance through the rear view mirror to see what was going on in the back and also to steal a glance or two at the two pretty girls that just joined us.
Then something struck me as I noticed something so obvious in the faces of all these young people I was transporting to their examination center.
One thing was very clear. They were all excited. Was it the examination they were going to take? Was it because the boys were now excited because we now had two pretty girls in our midst? Was it because these girls thought themselves lucky to find another vehicle when they were stranded? What or who is responsible for this joy they were oozing and spreading around?
I think I know why! They were just happy, simple and short!
Being a very mischief loving person, it suddenly flashed through my mind that I could spoil their fun just by doing only one thing. Although it was completely uncalled for, I knew I could easily halt their fun by making just one announcement. Do you have any idea what I could have done?
Oh yes. I knew I could easily wipe out all that excitement visible on their faces at once if I announce to them that I am not an experienced highway driver! You can imagine with them how they will all react if I tell them that I was actually experimenting on how to drive on the highway for the very first time and maybe demonstrate it to them by swerving left and right and left and right as I make that joyful announcement!
But I need not to worry. You know why?
Of course, we were all applying that law of unconditional trust!
First, these guys I started the journey with, they trusted me. They never questioned my driving skills or experience. They never demanded to see my driving license. They never questioned when the last time I tasted alcohol was! But why should they? The man behind the wheel is supposed to be the best driver on earth, isn’t he? The general assumption is that the man behind the wheel knows what he is doing at all times!
They trusted that I love my life so much so I would most likely never do anything that would jeopardize my life, our lives…
Secondly, those girls we picked on the road too, they were also applying unconditional trust on us. They unconditionally trusted that we were not some kidnappers or ritual murderers on the prowl. They never really bothered to see if we really looked anything like some rapists or something but even if they did; I still noticed that they didn’t show it. In fact, they never showed it from what I saw from their happy faces. I believe they just saw the opportunity to get to their destination and they took it and they even counted themselves lucky for not being the ones left behind!
But do you know the most surprising thing about this unconditional trust? As we picked those girls along the road, we never bothered to ascertain if they werereally examination candidates. I mean, they could have been some willing tools used by some highway robbers to waylay unsuspecting highway users. Being superstitious Africans, I don’t think it even crossed our minds that these pretty girls could even be evil spirits sent from the underworld to deal with unsuspecting males! We just thought they could provide us with some little extra cash (and maybe fun) and that was it - off we went!
Then as I continued to cruise once more on the highway, it suddenly dawned on me that since my entire life that I have been entering vehicles driven by other drivers, believe it or not, I have never in my life demanded to know some things about the driver, most especially his/her driving experience, the physical condition of the vehicle as well as his/her mental stability. I just dive in like those girls.
A great fear suddenly enveloped me as I started to ponder and identify some other strategic areas where this highly risky unconditional trust is practiced unsuspectingly by many people on daily basis.
The hygienic preparation of the food we consume at such places has never been all that questioned. Of course, we just assume they know they are supposed to be very hygiene-minded meaning that they should never try to give us unclean foods and drinks. Of course they know that the plates, the spoons and the cups they are going to serve us with should be washed very clean. And because they are supposed to know, we just assume that they have already done it and everything is alright and there we go!
What about the quality of food they are giving us? Should we remind them that it should not be low quality or almost spoilt food? Is there any need for that? I don’t think so. They know we trust them to do the right thing.
And by the way who has time to ask or answer that type of stupid question? If you don’t want to eat, why don’t you just go?!
I don’t think there is any reason why we should question the state of their meals because they already know they should never serve us yesterday’s leftover unless, they want to start losing their customers fast.
And so because we know that they are supposed to know, we just go ahead and enjoy the meal and expect that everything will be just fine!
While on this issue, I cannot easily forget what happened to me sometime ago when I read in the newspaper about one restaurant man that was apprehended by the police because of the type of meat he was serving his customers…
Can you guess what he was serving them?
The bad man was serving them vulture in place chicken all along! His reason for such dastardly act was that it was much cheaper (and maybe easier) for him to catch and use vultures rather than using poultry! Can you imagine?!
For a long time after I read that story, I was so much afraid of tasting anything that look like chicken but as time went on my unconditional trusting nature worked its way back into my system and I started to enjoy the chicken delicacy once again but I must confess that anytime that I am now eating such meat at any restaurant, I just go ahead and convince myself that no matter what, it still tastes very much like chicken!
The couples in relations are supposed to trust each other unconditionally, right? They don’t need to fear each other neither do they need to create doubts with infidelity in the minds of one another.
But in reality, is that really the case? How sure I am that when I bid my partner goodbye with a kiss, while leaving for work in the morning that the first thing she doesn’t do is not to invite her lover/s into our home?
And how sure is she that I am not waiting to run after skirts in my workplace as usual? When I tell her that I am travelling out of time with my secretary for official purpose, and I won’t be coming back for some days, what is she really thinking?
When couples say “I love you” to each other, do they really mean it or rather, what do they even mean by that? How committed are both parties in trying to make the relationship work?
Well, for the sake of unconditional trust, they just have to, no matter how out of sorts or weird that may seem.
It’s called benefit of doubt but I call it unconditional trust.
Our security agencies
I can’t count the number of times I have heard that the police is our friend. But in reality, are they?
In Nigeria for example, stories on how policemen shoot people on the street for the slightest provocation and sad tales of how people are abandoned and left at the mercy of daredevil criminals in robbery situations where these people really need police protection still filter into our awareness and I must say it doesn’t make me any more comfortable.
As I drove the vehicle, at some checking point, the police had to stop me. As I stopped the vehicle, it crossed my mind that the only visible difference between the angry looking gun toting policemen and a highway robber is just his uniform!
What will happen if the guy suddenly gets this temptation to rob us?
Nothing. Believe it or not, we were simply at his mercy!
But I need not have worried as he immediately waved us to pass just as we expected him to do after all we are already unconditionally trusting that he will respect his uniform – and do his job – which we supposed is to be giving us maximum protection.
In the school
What are we learning in schools and what are the teachers teaching us? Are we learning what is supposed to give us the very best of living?
Are our teachers doing their best in imparting knowledge into us or are they just mindlessly repeating what they were taught to do?
What about our kids in the school? Since children spend more time at school with their teachers nowadays than at home with their parents and close family members, except during holidays, this should seriously call for an alarm! Are these kids in the right hands where they will learn proper morals and get the necessary basic foundation while growing up or are they not?
What about our wards in high school, the universities or colleges, how are they faring? Are they being abused morally and mentally? What type of knowledge are they being exposed to? Are they being exposed to the right knowledge that will help them establish themselves as useful members of the society or are they gradually turning into the next batch of persona non gratae?
Whatever, they are doing to us at school, for the sake of our own peace of mind, it is just better we unconditionally trust that everything will be fine – and then hope for the best.
Is our government purposely lying to us? Or are they just dedicated to telling us the truth all the time as we expect of them.
When the Nigerian government gave the reason for removing the fuel subsidy on January 1 2012 as a necessary measure geared towards saving the Nigerian economy from going the Greece way, was it out of concern or was it just another façade carefully designed just to increase the fuel price as well as increase people’s suffering in the country?
Well, for the benefit of doubt, the government told Nigerians that the suffering will just be a temporal thing after all, it is better we suffer now and enjoy later.
And out of unconditional trust or helplessness or desperation or disillusionment or a combination of all of the above, the people accepted after putting up some serious but brief resistance.
Today, that big question I raised has not yet been clearly answered and the people are still continuing to wait for their enjoyment time to come, if ever it will, that is…
But that’s exactly what unconditional trust can do for you.
I can still recall that when George W. Bush told the whole world about the weapons of mass destruction that were supposed to be in Saddam Hussein’s possession, a lot of people trusted he knew what he was saying and were more than ready to support his plans for a full blown war and occupation of Iraq, at least at that particular time in history…
Now, when a presidential candidate starts to scream to the whole world and to anybody who cares to listen that change is what we need, do we need to ask the candidate the nature or type of change that s/he really means?
No need. I hope you know why now? You just vote him into power first and then you go ahead to trust s/he knows what s/he is saying!
In areas where teamwork is the key to success
In most areas of human endeavor where teamwork is the means of survival as the general success becomes a group thing as against individual performance, what then happens should there be a weakest link anywhere along the line?
For example, in team sports like soccer, what if one or two players who have a personal grudge decides to capsize the ship by scoring own goals or deliberately attracting a red card to weaken the whole team, how ready is the team prepared to handle such a situation?
Anyway, there is nothing to worry about because that would never happen!
How are you so sure it won’t?
Of course, I know my team! I trust…in fact I know that no one in his right senses in our team will even think of doing such thing!
Watch it, unconditional trust is at play once again.
These feelings made me to think of the great dangers that we are already living in in our world today. I became so alarmed. Unconditional trust is a very big problem. It is the reason why so many people fall victims to situations where they could have ordinarily saved themselves in the first place. It is the reason why so many people easily commit certain kinds of heinous crimes and still get away with it.
But do you know one thing? I am not here to bad-mouth unconditional trusting entirely because if you check it, if unconditional trust is properly harnessed, no one will ever be in constant fear in this world again!
It is so true.
If everything we do, every business we conduct, every deal we sign, every relationship we enter, every product we buy to use, and so on is based on true unconditional trust whereby you trust me to do my job well and I trust you will do yours well, and we really make the effort and do exactly as we are expected, I tell you the world will always become a much safer place, or don’t you agree?