Monday, April 5, 2010

Trust in a modern world

I have always worried, worried that I would not be able to teach my child important things. You may say “what kind of things?” Well, I am not talking about stuff like riding a bike, casting a fishing line or even running a mile. What I am talking about are life lessons… like “being a honest person,“ “being courteous,” or “going with your gut!” I have always wondered how does one actually teach this trait? It isn’t really learned in school, or the home, but more of a life lesson one learns as they grow up.

You see random acts of kindness here and there, but you go on about your day and never really think about them. For instance, my wife, Laura, and I were out at Old Navy, we had purchased over the amount we had intended to do. We were in line ready to check out and a lady, we will call her the “Coupon fairy” and she handed us a coupon that ended up taking 30% off every thing we bought! It was amazing… but we went on and never really told anyone about it.

I was thinking about it and wondered.. does my little boy truly trust anyone besides his mommy and daddy yet? I mean there are different levels of trust, of course, but what is going through his mind when he is playing at daycare with his BFF Ben?

The idea of trust can get you in trouble sometimes… but there are instances when you have a feeling about someone that allows you to step out of your controlled comfort zone and let someone else do something for you.

I walk into a large brick building in the middle of the KSU campus, I push through the large doors, walk in and stretch my neck around the corner, to the right. I do this every Monday/Wednesday right before my Econ class. I have a huge gap of time between classes so I want to make sure I get my spot at the same table because this is where I hook my computer up. The building doesn’t seem to have ample plug-ins so everyone with a laptop computer or dying cell phone have them monopolized.

As fate would have it someone is sitting at my table on this very day, this very moment and my dreams of getting a blog written are dashed to the wind… At first, I see my nemesis at the, no my table. She is a young, Hispanic chick wearing bejeweled sandals and her toes are painted pale pink. Do I engage in conversation in hopes she will invite me to the table? Do I ask her for the time so she will look over and maybe offer the empty spot across from her so I can boot up my low battery? What am I to do, how am I to proceed? What if this girl is a total bitch and/or thinks I am hitting on her? I must choose my words carefully and stealthfully… my computer’s life depends on this stranger with pink toe nails.

“Hi,” I say “excuse me.”

She looks over, her pony tail swings to the left. “Yes?” she smiles.

“Do you mind if I plug my computer in at your table?” I ask.

Her table? It’s MY table… but I must be kind or I could be sitting at a squatty, little table with no way to connect to the World Wide Web.


“Great,” I reply. “Thanks so much! I really need to study.”

The false statement just fell out of my mouth. I was intending to study, I wanted to write my blog! I’m such a blog whore.

The trust had been initiated, but my next step whet far beyond my expectation. I was not expecting to strike up a convo with this person... I don’t even want to know her name, but right now, at this very moment I need her. I need her to watch my computer so I can take about 20 paces in the opposite direction to grab a quick snack from the “Einstein Bros Bagel” Shoppe. I don’t like bagels per say I like their overgrown muffins… I should lay off of them because I am starting to get a muffin-top of my own.

“Hi,” I say after a short stint at the table. “How long do you expect to be here?”

As soon as I said this statement I wanted to retract it due to the response it may get. She probably thinks I am being an ass… she lent out her extra seat to a sad, college guy with no battery power and he already wants the whole outlet to himself. What a prick!

“Oh, probably 30 more minutes or so.” She replied with a hint of Spanish-heritage, like the Latin lady from Modern Family. (I love that show!)

“Great!” I continued. “Would you mind watching my computer while I run around the corner to the Bagel Shoppe?”

“No problem,” she responded. “Sure!”

Now remember, I don’t even know this girl’s name? All I know is she has conficasted my favorite waiting table and she may be hurtin’ for money and I will come back and all my stuff will be gone, including my computer which has the hard files with all my research for my Communication Capstone paper... then I don't graduate in May.. NO!

“What was I thinking,” I thought to myself as I stood in line at the Bagel shop.

“What would you like, Sir?”

I stood there thinking to myself, already having my phone in my hand ready to call campus police on the pink toed bandit who was waiting for me to gain my trust and take off with my HP Laptop complete with intel Centrino Duo chip!

“Sir?” the lady behind the counter repeated.

“Oh, a chocolate muffin please.” I said. “Oh and two waters.”

I went ahead and got another water for pink toed, Hispanic chick for watching my things at MY table.

“That will be $5.05”

I hand her my debit card and head back, quickly to the table hoping and praying she was still there and all my things would be there was well.

I felt like a total ass for doubting the kindness of a stranger.

I sat in my seat and reached over with the extra water.

“Thank you for watching my stuff” I said.

“Oh wow!” she replied. “Thank you!”

So, lesson learned, no matter how much life sucks and you feel like you can’t trust people… there are some people out there… some people who are nice, trustworthy people. So, whenever my little boy gets screwed over by a little friend at school I will be sure to tell him the story of the Hispanic chick with the pink toes.


Laura said...

Great story! We live in such an "anti-trust" world, that sometimes it's hard to take a step out. Your already a great Dad, and Mauldin will learn more by your actions than words.

Anonymous said...

Laura is right! You are a great Dad and Mauldin is already learning more from your actions than you can imagine. We all need to use our "trust instincts" more.

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Anonymous said...

Modern Family rules!