I took a long weekend to attend a reunion and visit with friends. On the drive home, reflecting on the many conversations, I wondered if there had been any kind of central theme to the weekend. Distrust and trust are what came to mind.
Several female friends related stories of why they no longer trust men. And of course, there were numerous discussions over our growing cynicism and mistrust of religion and politics. I was able to visit a friend in prison who relayed stories of reasons why he either trusts or distrusts staff. My cynicism over the growing LACK of excellence within the prison system was reconfirmed when I arrived for the start of visiting hours, and finally got in to see my friend an hour and a half later. I recognized in too many anger and hurt and refusal to be hurt again. Sadly, I noticed people who have less joy in life because they hold grudges or spend their time licking wounds they won’t allow to heal.
One friend has been highly dedicated to a particular cause. She is learning to trust and to believe in herself as she forges on with her campaign. I experienced renewed appreciation for having grown up with loving parents. I think, because of that, I have learned to trust people more and to believe more strongly in them as valuable human beings.
Perhaps one of the most striking statements I heard this weekend came from my prisoner friend. He was telling me how some young prisoners have asked him how he has survived for thirty years plus in prison. He told me he replies: “I have friends…and I have God. “ Perhaps trust would come more easily to the rest of us if we were able to say the same.