The day after Christmas, I was at my grandmother’s house, sitting on a beige sofa, reading my new book – “The Superior Person’s Book Of Words”*.
My uncle Martin suddenly appeared, and snatched the book out of my hands.
We’re fast-forwarding a bit, here, because you don’t need to hear the elementary aspersions upon Doc’s intentions that were tossed about by said uncle.
Now, we arrive once again at the scene, after much blushing and sulking is finished. Uncle Martin is sitting next to me on the beige couch, and cannot get his nose out of my Superior Book.
We began debating about the use of Large Words. Are Large Words are necessary to convey your Point, or can you deliver an accurate representation of your Point by using small, easier-to-understand words?
From there, the conversation drifted in and out of various things…
1. The Omnipotence of God.
2. Preordination vs. Predestination (also known as “Predestination vs. Free Will, but that is AWFULLY inaccurate terminology. Gah. I’ll get into this another time.)
3. Dust particles.
4. Whether or not debate is good for the Soul.
5. The fact that I have very few people I consider Good Friends.
6. My brother’s friend Jonathan.
7. The purpose of man’s existence.
8. The question “Why?”
It is number 8 that I now ponder.
My uncle, somewhere around number 5, decided to employ some sort of thinking technique that he’d read about somewhere. The conversation went something like this:
BRENNA: >snort< What social life?
MARTIN: Okay… why don’t you have a social life?
BRENNA: Because I don’t have that many friends.
MARTIN: Why don’t you have many friends?
BRENNA: >pause< Well, to me, “friends” are people who I trust with knowing me, and I don’t trust many people, so –
MARTIN: Why don’t you trust many people?
BRENNA: >long pause<
BRENNA: Because I don’t consider many people trustworthy.
MARTIN: That isn’t an answer. That’s rewording the answer you gave before.
BRENNA: >glare< Fine. >pause< Because I’ve had my trust betrayed by people I never thought would betray it..
MARTIN: Why didn’t you think they would?
BRENNA: >pause< >gets sad look in eyes< Because I thought I knew them.
BRENNA: Because we’d spent so much time together, and told each other so much…
BRENNA: Because I trusted them.
BRENNA: >pause< I…. I… >looong pause< I don’t know.
MARTIN: So what is trust?
MARTIN: In my opinion, trust is like a paddock in which you keep horses. “Trust” is expecting the horses to stay within the paddock and not break out of those boundaries.
That's when I stopped talking and just thought about it.
I still haven't come to any conclusions. I don't know what trust is. So I need help with this one.
One thing I do know, that Uncle Martin explained later, is that by asking yourself "why" 7 times in a row will usually reveal a deeper, more important truth than the first statement you made - whatever the topic. Try it. See for yourself.
*For those of you who didn’t hear the news – my lovely friend Doc sent me “The Superior Person’s Book Of Words” for Christmas aaaallll the way from Chicago, demonstrating not only his loyal-friend-ly-ness, but also a rather stunning understanding of… well, ME. A more perfect gift could not be found.