Who and what can you trust?
We crave people we can trust, institutions we can believe in. But it seems as though formerly reliable sources of trust don’t seem so reliable any more. We hear of clerics who abuse parishioners, even children. We hear of politicians who lie. We even hear of physicians who do unnecessary procedures to make more profit, hence this joke. The patient asks the doctor, “Is that procedure really necessary?” The physician replies, “If I’m to vacation in Tahiti.”
Here, I share eight things I trust and three I don’t. I offer them not just because it might affect your opinion about their trustworthiness but because it might kickstart your thinking about what else you feel you should trust more or less.
What I Trust
Of course, trust is never 100 percent, but here’s what I most trust:
Internet search results. The crowd-sourcing effect and Google’s algorithm tends to bubble-up best information to the top of its search results. That said, for things political, I sometimes do both a Google and a Yahoo search. I’ve found that Google search results have a liberal bias. For example, when I Googled the title of a conservative #1 New York Times bestselling book, it didn’t come up until page 4. On Yahoo! Search, it was listed first.
C-SPAN. The media has long abandoned aiming to be fair and balanced. So many journalists think of their role as activist and so use tools to appear fair and balanced while trying to manipulate you into believing what they believe.They argue that objectivity is impossible. That may be true but C-SPAN is evidence that presenting a wide range of benevolently derived views is not only possible but can be done on three stations (C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3,) 24/7/365.
My doggie, Einstein. Of course, I can’t count on him for much except for love, but that’s a heckuva lot.
Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. That’s virtually the only food that has not gone in and out of favor with the food police. One year butter’s out and margarine’s in. The next year, it’s the opposite. One year, coffee is horrible for you, now it’s good. One year, eggs and seafood are deemed artery-clogging. Now, they’re fine. By the way, frozen fruits and veggies may be even better than fresh because they’re usually frozen sooner after harvest than when you buy them fresh.
Japanese top-brand products, for example, Toyota, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and Honda. Major consumer publications reflect my experience that these brands are consistently excellent in both performance and long-term reliability.
Amazon. I can find most anything I want to buy, from multiple vendors, with lots of reader and expert reviews, and with just a click or two, the product is promptly at my door.
My plants. The ultimate in trustworthiness. I know I’ll get a great result as long as I buy varieties that are genetically superior and provide them with food, water, and sunlight. Examples: the Sexy Rexy rose, Early Girl tomato, Bonanza Harmony marigold, Tamukeyama Japanese Maple, Meyer Improved lemon, and Big Red geranium.
My wife. I’ve been with Barbara for 42 years now and there’s no one I trust more, except perhaps myself.
What I Trust Less
I trust these far less:
Salespeople. If a product is good and appropriate to my needs, an Internet search will usually reveal that more accurately than a salesperson would. Salespeople earn their pay by convincing people to buy what they otherwise wouldn’t. Otherwise, the employer would just hire a $10 an hour order-taker or sell the product on the Internet. That said, I have encountered salespeople I trust, for example, those that would tell me not to buy their product.
Alas, salespeople use ever more sophisticated techniques to make us buy. For example, I recently watched a video demonstrating the research finding that a salesperson with an open posture who shakes hands firmly while touching the customer’s elbow dramatically increases the chance of making a sale.
Job seekers. As a career counselor, I get to see what people are willing to say and do to get a job. Let’s just say that if I were an employer, I would rely far more on proctored job-simulation tests than I would on an applicant’s resume, cover letter, interview, or references.
Government. I pay a hefty percentage of my income in taxes (from income to sales to business to property to exorbitant tolls and parking tickets,) take a week from each year to prepare records and file my tax returns, yet believe the government doesn’t care about taxpayers—It has its goals, which may be inimical to the taxpayer’s interests. And many government services I try to access or otherwise become familiar with seem ineffectual or at least inefficient. For example, I have spent a lot of time in the belly of the public higher education beast and I believe that, except at community colleges, the taxpayer, not to mention students, receives poor value for the tax dollars spent.
Now it’s your turn
What and whom do you most trust? Least trust? And among those I list above, are there any you feel you should trust more or less?