Quote of the day 2

2 02 2008

Quotes“How can I convince you to trust me?” -The Fourth Side

Trust is an important issue in the world today. World leaders are chosen based on the trust people have in them. Loving relationships are based around complete trust two individuals have in one another. But in general, people have an inherent distrust in others that is hard to overcome. With the pain and suffering that is displayed across TV and news, it’s hard not to be wary of strangers and their motives. In fact, we have settled into a situation where people seem more surprised by good Samaritans than by people who lie or ignore the hardship of others. People ask, “What’s the catch?” Response: “There is none.” “You’re lying. What’s the catch?”

So “how can I convince you to trust me?” Every single day we guess people’s motives. No matter how much they attempt to convince us of the truth, we can never be completely sure, which is why this quote is so perplexing. The question itself doesn’t imply good intentions or bad intentions. It’s completely ambiguous. If I asked it to you, you would not know if trusting me would lead to extortion and backstabbing or to a bonding relationship. So how do you answer? You answer, “Why do you deserve my trust?” No matter what gesture I make, what experiences I have had, what emotion I show, you can never know for certain that it isn’t all just a farce as well.

Yet, every day people choose to trust people based on assumed reasons. People assert the truths and lies behind every single motion of political candidates. Often, major changes in the world can be based on the trust in chosen political figures. Trust is a source of hope that drives people and promotes lasting relationships. It also can destroy hope when trust is shattered. Where is the balance between basing trust on hope and understanding that every person in the world, good or evil or simply misleading, is trying to convince us to trust them?

On the other side of things, it’s depressing to know that no matter how much you want to convince someone to trust you, sometimes it’s just not possible.

Quote of the day

17 01 2008

Quotes“If you break one hand today, you won’t break both tomorrow.” -The Fourth Side

I would not suggest trying this, no matter how comforting the knowledge that you will not be breaking both hands tomorrow may be. However, I will try to come to some conclusion about how optimism like this could be used.

While most normal people use optimism to cheer people up, there is always the possibility that it will not work. This is because the recipient of the optimism may realize the ploy of the optimizer (used here to define the person who offers optimism), and resultantly assume that the opposite must be true. One might say this is a fault of humanity. We assume that others would only be kind to us if there was something so terribly wrong that they had to soften the truth. On the other hand, this is often the case.

The classic example includes the patient in a hospital who is dying of an incurable disease. Unfortunately, the patient does not know this yet and some doctor or nurse must take the responsibility of telling the patient (unless of course they opt to tell the patient’s family first and suggest that a family member break the news; this is more commonly known as the “chickening out”). The doctor comes into the room and makes himself comfortable before making some completely random side-note to lighten the mood, usually something along the lines of “It’s such a beautiful day outside. Did you look out your window?” or “You know your parents love you more than anything in the world.” Almost immediately, the patient replies, “I’m going to die, aren’t I?” Afterward, it can be agreed that everything would have turned out better had the doctor just chickened out.

The best way to negate the possibility of being discovered is to make it impossible for the recipient of the optimism to tell if you are serious or not. They will be too busy trying to figure out your point to think about whatever might be wrong. There is also the chance that the absurdity itself will be funny, in which case simple optimism can’t even compete.

Considering the sense of looking to tomorrow for a day better than today, I think that humans are cruel to themselves as when assuming that others must be lying. We say tomorrow will be better, but by the time tomorrow comes, we have already forgotten that we were hoping for a better day the day before. As a result, we spend most of the time hoping that tomorrow will be better than today and not enough time deciding if today actually was better than yesterday. Simply noticing that you have not broken both hands today after breaking one yesterday offers a limitless geyser of delight, whether it is because today actually is better than yesterday or because you considered the possibility of something impossible actually happening.

Concerning telling a dying patient that, if the patient dies once today, the patient won’t die twice tomorrow, I can’t be certain of the outcome. Seriously, that takes the issue to a whole new level. Unlike the quote, it neither makes sense nor offers any really consolation about tomorrow. I have to admit that it’s still a pretty funny thought.