Wednesday, March 11, 2015

truth or comfort?

Do we all have trust issues with people or groups? 

For me, one example of an issue I have with trusting people is with those who we are supposed to trust at fixing our vehicles. I believe that I have experienced, on repeated occasions, where a vehicle has gone in for servicing and in the weeks that followed that vehicle experienced new problems that before the visit did not exist. This just happened to me again, and I fixed the problem myself but I am becoming very suspicious about tampering. Now, I don't trust them and I am looking for a new garage for my vehicles. I find this problem pervasive in so many areas of my life. Do I have trust issues or are people less deserving of trust?

Transactions or Performances?

Things in our lives that should be merely transactional, and based on quantitative objective information, can quickly become subjective, shrouded in colourful drama that evokes emotions and behaviours.

A simple example to illustrate. You go to the store and you can choose between two kinds of coffee. They both have a packaging designed to make you choose their brand. For the sake of this example, lets say that the product inside is virtually identical but one brand is 20% more money than the other brand. The more expensive brand's package sells a coffee "experience" that tells you that it is the best for waking up in the morning and so you choose that brand. In reality, you got the same coffee but paid 20% more based entirely on an emotional response to advertising, not a real difference.

This is a small example but it's part of our problem in that we cannot trust the company to be truthful in their information to us.  Instead of truth, the company appeals to our preferences to choose based on comfort.

I point the finger at a commercial organization here but it occurs at the individual level regularly too.

The employee who comes in late and says they will make up the time.  You trust them to do it so you don't watch their every move but they may not make up the time. The buddy who you help out who says he will repay you the favour but seems to always be busy when you need it returned. The neighbour who says they will watch your house while you are away on vacation and quickly takes in your mail and flyers from your bursting mailbox on the morning before your return.  We continually disrespect trust relationships with others for our own comfort by creating the illusion that we are making good on our commitment to truth.

Fictions (aka untruth that entertains us) have become a vital part of financial wealth accumulation. As consumers and employees in the marketplace what we accept for comfort is vital to the ease with which those in power can increase their wealth.   Making promises of your comfort,  so you will sacrifice your time or money, taking little in return is how the game is played. We are't stupid though, we know the deal is not in our favour for either payment for our time or goods/services received in exchange for our money. We can be quite focused on participating in the fiction though because no one wants to admit that they let themselves be taken in and have become part of the fraud. No one wants to admit that they knowingly let themselves be screwed and the effort required to fight back can be time consuming. 

This reality, that we are required to trust people with our stuff, our money and our well being, is a real issue today. Why is it an issue?
  • people are taking your money by abusing that trust and over charging you, making bad investments, or playing with your money. 
  • people are causing us fear and anxiety with scenarios that should be transactional. 
  • people pray upon those fear and anxieties to sell you things/services you don't need
  • people are playing with information to create an emotional response to gain power or position that affects you. 
  • people are leveraging your desire for that comfort so that you accept a fiction as truth and move on.
  • etc, etc. 
Is there any wonder we don't trust politicians but we do little to change when they defy the good of the common people?  Is there any wonder we continue to be part of systems and processes where we feel taken advantage of when we know we could make a change?

We choose to look the other way when we get ripped off because we want to preserve our comfort. We don't want to deal with the truth because confrontation is not comfortable. 

We choose comfort because the truth hurts. 

To all those who choose to challenge and confront the un-truth and forsake their comfort I salute you. I hope that I can continue to strive to more as well and fight my urge to relax and be entertained. 

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