"Trust Me"--No Way
A clergyman was sitting in a lounge with me, passing the time. I seem to attract them. We both had drinks and were talking about the New Biblical Criticism when he noticed someone at the door. He suddenly reached for his wallet and pulled it out and examined its interior. "Shhhhi," he whispered, then looked at me. "I hate to ask you this," he continued, "but do you have a twenty dollar bill that I could borrow for just a couple minutes? I have to give it to that guy. There's an ATM up the street, I'll be right back." He paused a couple seconds. "You can trust me." I gave him the twenty, and he left, and he did not return. I should have known better. I had been stung by those words before. I have generally made it a rule in life to never trust anyone who asks me to trust him or her.
One only needs to think about the persons who most commonly demand our trust: salespersons, advertisers, television commentators, and politicians. The words "trust me" come out of their mouths well-oiled and polished, so slippery they shine. If one can be known by the company he or she keeps, the word "trust" keeps very bad company. It cavorts with the worst of them. George Bush asked us in the year 2000 to trust him to maintain peace and prosperity. I was shopping for jackets the other day and tried on one that was attractive, but the sleeves were too long. The salesperson said, "They're wearing them that way now, trust me." Why do these snake-oil salesmen treat us this way? Because they do not see us as persons. Rather, they view us as means...