So, what is trust? When does it really count in our lives? Trust is a small word but it has implications throughout our entire existence. It is not just about our nearest and dearest, who we believe we can trust implicitly, but those others who occasionally bump up against or even enter our ‘circle of trust’ as defined in ‘Meet the Fockers’.
All those of us who are not complete psychopaths have a need, no, an imperative to trust someone. Every event in our lives teaches us who to trust or not and hopefully we learn to get it right most of the time; that’s what keeps us sane – and communicative. Unfortunately there are times when someone who we ought to be able to trust lets us down, perhaps a member or members of our own family, a friend, or merely a work colleague. Perhaps merely is not the right word. After all, we spend at least a third of our 24-hour day with them, developing ‘friendships’ and more as we battle our business competition to win that all-important deal, or simply to ally with our co-workers to get through the dullest of days (most of our working days in many cases).
When push comes to shove, who do we trust? If you consider this question properly I think the answer would surprise you. From personal experience I know that families are often an unreliable source of succour. So how can we really know who is trustworthy? On more than one occasion I have been warned that everyone has a personal agenda. No matter what they say to you or how they behave, underneath all of this are their own needs to be satisfied.
This single argument suggests that you ought to trust the one person whose personal agenda you can 1. Interpret and 2. Doesn’t conflict overly with your own. Guess who – you! Blimey, you though your life was complicated before! As an alternative to this island existence, try to understand other people – align your needs with theirs, it makes life simpler and the trust may even be returned. It’s a simple fact that those who we think we understand we probably don’t. Those we always saw as transparent probably aren’t.
So what has this to do with the Zombie Apocalypse?
That’s the easy part. For those of us who survive the initial bloody, tooth-aching beginning of the end, then trust is THE key to your survival. More accurately the person in whom you choose to place your trust will prove to be, in fact, a life or death decision. Forget misplaced trust in the bastard at your office who stabs you in the back when it suits him or her to do so. No, this time trust is actually a life or death decision. If you’ve been watching The Walking Dead, then you’ll have seen the group’s reticence to bring newbies into the fold. Why? Because they no longer have a frame of reference in which to form a basis of trust. Instead of being able to trust they prefer to allow death and suffering of strangers.
It’s a funny thing, but how often do you hear people glibly say, ‘trust me’? I guess it’s a little like the word love, over-used and much-abused for other people’s ends. You’re probably thinking I’m some cynical old bastard, loads of bitter experience and unable to connect appropriately, but the truth is that trust is almost a sacred word to me. I rarely say it or even think about it but it pervades my every action in the day. We walk down the road trusting that the drivers of the cars racing by won’t lose control and take us out, we trust a meteorite won’t strike us while out walking to work or sleeping in our beds. In a civilised community trust is everywhere and we give it easily, mostly without a thought. I believe we can keep our faith in humankind, even more so following disasters. If anything that is when it applies more than ever, when people really consider what they are giving. Look at the great and good acts recorded following a natural, or not so, disaster. In spite of the malice we see every day in the news there are so many good acts that perhaps the way we apportion trust can be justified.
I regularly hear people talking about the selfish attitudes of people that will predominate during the Apocalypse, but what evidence do they have to go on? Very little, and most of it is supposition and apocryphal tales from comics or stories they have read or watched on the TV. I believe that our innate need to trust is what enables our civilisation. It is what will keep survivors going. Without a doubt some will make mistakes which may lead to our demise. If we could do so after death, we would probably undo the decision to trust, but moving up the food chain implicitly requires trusting our fellow man, at least sometimes.
Of course, there are times when you should also know just to kill the fucker! I am referring to the ‘Governor’ in The Walking Dead. I’d have killed him a dozen times before they finally did! What does that say about me?
Who do you trust and why?
Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)
The Animus Portal