Trust-The Good Stuff
I have a friend; I'll call OD, who had been known to alter his mood artificially, if you know what I mean. He had done so quite often to the point of becoming quite an expert on artificial mood enhancements. Of course, this expertise had cost him family, his job, and the respect of many of his friends, including me.
One day recently I realized that something was wrong with my moods. I was becoming fidgety and confused often for no reason. It seemed a good idea to ask an expert about this phenomenon so I headed to that strange busy street corner where OD hung out.
"Hey!" I said as I walked up to him.
"Hey!" he responded. We were never known for our witty repor..er...talk. "What brings you slumming?"
I pulled up a piece of curb and smiled. Sure it had been three years since I spoke with OD, but he didn't seem to mind. He was still treating me as the friend I once was, and I was more than willing to take advantage of that.
"Oh, I don't know. I was in the neighborhood and decided to stop by."
"Cool." He smiled and didn't say another word. This was a relief in that he wasn't yammering like he'd been known do in the past.
"Man, I could use some advice."
"From me" he looked surprised. "How can a street bum like me help you?"
"I don't know. It seems that I've been having some issues recently. I've been nervous, jumping at strange things, suspicious, I'd almost say paranoid, and I don't know why."
"Tell me more." I did, for about an hour I talked with him about my emotions. He didn't judge or complain, but sat there listening with interest.
He thought about it a minute as he puffed on what I was guessing was a cigarette. "Contact Downer."
"What?" I asked.
"You know what a contact high is?"
"Sure, it's where you get a buzz off of someone else's drugs just by being near it."
"Close enough. Seems you've got an mood downer by hanging around the wrong people."
I cursed. "What downer do you think I'm on?" I asked, hoping it was something easy.
"Fear, and a bad case of it at that." I cursed again. Fear was tough stuff. It was addictive and caused dependency. It ate at the brain cells and killed social skills. Worse, it led to the real hard stuff, hate, violence, possible halitosis.
"What can I do about this?"
"Dude, there is a lot of this going around. It's like the new meth. Anybody can make it, anybody can spread it, and it's catchy. Face it, the Shi'ites fear the Sunni's who fear the Kurds who fear the Turks, who fear the Europeans who fear the Arabs who fear the Israelis who fear the Palestinians who fear the Americans who fear the Oil Companies who fear the Environmentalists who fear the Republicans who fear the Democrats who fear the conservatives who fear the liberals who fear the Christians who fear the atheists who fear the literalists who fear the homosexuals who fear...well, I've gone on enough"
I just shook my head. "But what can I do?"
"Only one thing can defeat Fear. Trust. I can get you some good..."
"No!" I yelled as I jumped up. I knew about this Trust. It was dangerous stuff. My old man got Trust from the cigarette companies and it killed him. My Uncle got Trust from Enron and now looks forward to a retirement flinging grease for a clown.
"Calm down dude. Good Trust is good stuff man. It'll clean the Fear right out of your system. Its only the bad Trust that is dangerous."
"I've tried that Trust stuff. I got it from a good source too, a great source, and it turned bad, really really bad."
"You're talking that rash of bad WMD Trust aren't you?" I shook my head in agreement. "Yeah. That stuff got out to almost everyone. The dealer, he's been busy blaming his source, or complaining that his sub-dealers cut his good Trust with bad stuff. It's burned a lot of people on Trust. Heck, that same dealer has been pushing more Fear than anyone on my block not explicitly dealing in Mosques, Stars, or Crosses."
"That was still a great and solid source. If it can slip me bad Trust, anyone can."
"Your mistake was that you bought that trust from a group. Groups can't maintain good Trust. Never get your trust from a country or a business, a movement or a religion you don't have Faith in. Each of these is Schizophrenic. There are just too many hands responsible for maintaining the Trust. If one slips up, by accident or by deviousness, then the Trust is screwed."
"So where can I get good Trust?"
"From people man, from people. Only a person has the honor and the ability to earn a rep for good Trust. People by person, man that is the secret. That is where you get the good trust."
He made a bit of sense, so I took a hit of Trust from him, and I felt good. I began to relax and not to worry quite as much.
Trust that's my anti-Fear. Get it from somebody, not some group, today.
This has been brought to you from People for Legalizing Trust.