Trust nobody vs. be vulnerable

World is changing. So are our opinions. Under the influence of certain people or events we modify our attitudes.

One of the things I had to revise recently was trust. It happened to all of us – we’ve been stabbed from an unexpected direction. We’ve been robbed. We’ve been mystified and led astray.

I’ve lost the way. As a reaction to outside forces I’ve closed myself into a shell and reduced the people I trust to my closest family. When we are seeking confirmation, we find it. Tupac Shakur, on video tape made while he was in prison, emphasized the need to “trust nobody.” He accused his close friends from setting him up in 1994 shooting which nearly cost him his life. Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent presents lack of trust towards other people as one of his mantras in The 50th Law. Jackson too got nearly killed in a drive by shooting. In his early years, while hustling in ghettos, and also after his entrance to music industry, many people were after him and his money, driven by envy and greed.

I am not from a ghetto, nor was anyone attempting to kill me. But can I trust my friends? Matt Ridley in his book Red Queen claims that friendships are made in order to benefit from the other person. As long as he or she is an asset, friendship works. The minute it’s gone, friendship crumbles. What that means is that your friends are using you for their own merit. What a scary thought.

Drop all illusions and become cold hearted, calculative human. I had attempted that, partly with success. I was being careful with friends, I reduced my emotions towards girls I liked. No love lost, no love found. It had pros and cons. I felt alone though and lack of emotional connection didn’t make me feel any better. I am on a crossroads now. Vulnerability is getting more and more discussed. I gave it a great deal of thinking.

Best moments of my life were based on sharing emotions, building deep connection. So were the worst. Leaving the shell and immersing in life is risky and in the moments when I was not careful, it backfired. Once, it backfired with brute force and I was about to break under heaviness of the responsibility on my shoulders. I will write more about what happened in upcoming posts.

I am currently reading On tranquillity of mind written by L. A. Seneca. In one of the chapters, he talks about stoic philosophers understanding that the real possessions are within them. Any tangible belongings are nothing but a favour of the fortune and may as well be gone one day. Thieves, powerful men, deceivers – all of these people are harmless to true philosopher.

My reaction to being robbed in a cottage while sleeping, described in the post On safety, was to retreat to my home, lock the doors, lock the windows and feel safe. Locks are just barriers protecting us against other people and against ourselves, in the same way one would not start a relationship, because it will end as the partner will leave the country. It is a risk. The time is limited. Play it safe and you’ll end up in a prison of a sort, behind dozens of safety locks, alone. You won’t feel the wind in your hair, nor the smell of a freshly cut grass. Yes, wind can turn into a hurricane and grass can be set on fire.

The choice is yours. I’ve made mine.

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About Petr Klíma