This is my last morning gathering at ARI that I shared today. M time is over soon, so I got the chance to share about a topic one more time.
It ’s in English – sorry my German readers 😉
Good morning everyone!
I hope you enjoyed the game and you are awake now 🙂
Today is the 18th August and in 12 days I will leave Japan and go back to Germany. My year at ARI will be finished, after I came on August 30st last 2010. This is my fourth Morning Gathering and also my last.
This time, for quite a long time I had a vague idea of what to talk about. The topic is something that came to my mind quite a lot lately and I know I am not the only person thinking about it. The topic of my last Morning Gathering is “Trust”.
Hopefully you enjoyed the game, but if you didn’t cheat and opened your eyes you maybe also felt other feelings next to joy. Like a bit of fear (of bumping into something or falling down). But after some time, did you feel safer? Could you walk more easily and without hesitation? Could you easily follow your leader’s instructions? Did you have trust?
Trust is something very big, untouchable, maybe invisible. A bit like radiation 😉
Wikipedia says the following about trust:
In a social context, trust has several connotations.The typical definition of trustfollows the general intuition about trust and contains such elements as:
- the willingness of one party (trustor) to rely on the actions of another party (trustee);
- reasonable expectation (confidence) of the trustor that the trustee will behave in a way beneficial to the trustor;
- risk of harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave accordingly; and
- the absence of trustor’s enforcement or control over actions performed by the trustee.
Trust can be attributed to relationships between people. It can be demonstrated that humans have a natural disposition to trust and to judge trustworthiness […]
When it comes to the relationship between people and technology, the attribution of trust is a matter of dispute. The intentional stancedemonstrates that trust can be validly attributed to human relationships with complex technologies. However, rational reflection leads to the rejection of an ability to trust technological artefacts.
In short, the last part means that there is a basic trust that humans have in technology. But if we really think about it, we know we cannot just trust technology.
Who do you trust? Your friends, your family, yourself? Many people trust in prayers and their faith, many people trust in money or in power. In some things we trust knowingly, like friends. For me, I generally trust my friends, but only my closest friends have all my trust.
Trust is something that I feel you have to earn from someone. I feel it’s an honor when I am trusted and someone for example shares his or her story or problems with me. Whether they actually want or need my help, or they just want to get something off their minds, it feels like a great honor.
At the same time, I sometimes find it difficult to trust. Sometimes I feel I cannot trust myself, sometimes I’m not sure whether to trust this or that person. Can I really do this or that? Will he or she disappoint me eventually, use my trust for something bad?
If you put trust in someone, you show that person your inner self, your feelings and your weaknesses, your thoughts. It’s a risk, cause this gives the other person a certain power over you. The trustee can use his knowledge to hurt you badly. Finding out that the person you trusted turned in on you feels like someone empties a bucket of boiling water over your head. Maybe you feel embarassed, thinking “Why did I trust that person? How could I be that silly?”, angry at that person as well as yourself, you feel exposed…
Therefore, trust is a mighty weapon. Once you have the trust of someone, you can do many things with that trust.
But it’s not just persons that we trust.
In many things we trust unknowingly, I think.
This I realised especially after the earthquake.
Here is a list of things I used to trust in, probably without thinking about it:
- the ground is about the most solid thing there is
- maybe not all plans work out, but in general I can always decide what to do, where to go, . . .
- dangerous things don’t happen to me, only to others
- buildings, society, the way we know the world now, is steady and cannot vanish that easily
- and finally, nuclear energy is kind of dangerous, but I don’t need to think about it, cause they wouldn’t use it if it was that dangerous, right…?
And these are just a few things I just trust in, probably also take for granted.
This turns out to be wrong now. An earthquake can shake the ground anytime, easily. Buildings are nothing against the force of nature, even the biggest cities. Thousand year old knowledge can get lost within one generation, if it is not passed on. Anything can happen to you at any time.
Because of radiation, especially nature is something we cannot trust easily anymore.
Around this time last year it was a really hot summer.
The fields were green and full of vegetables. You could see red tomatos growing, purple egg plants as big as my arm during harvest, Komatsuna and Okura, lettuce and corn. The fields were full of crops and vegetables. You could see frogs jumping from leaf to leaf and spiders building their webs among the plants. Above the fields hundreds of dragonflies circling in the air. The chickens would get fresh grass and vegetable in the evening and the pigs would get some soil to eat every now and then. It just felt nice being outside, watching the insects (I am not scared of EVERY insect!) and seeing the mountains from the fields. Everytime we harvested I was astonished at how many vegetables we ended up with and how big and healthy they looked.
Basically, everything was full of life, and it was nice to be in the kitchen and cook the vegetables we had just harvested.
Because I can remember this time and have the image in my mind, seeing the fields now makes me sad. What is growing is mostly soy beans and weeds.
When I look up in the sky, there are nearly no dragonflies circling above our heads.
It has become so normal to say “Oh, we cannot eat that.”
Yesterday I read in the newspaper about a father living in Fukushima who had to keep on telling his kids “Don’t eat this. Don’t touch that. Don’t play outside.”
Everything looks the same, smells the same, leaves the same feeling on your skin.
But we cannot trust it, still.
It’s just weird to lose trust in the most natural thing there is – nature!
This situation puts not only our trust in nature into question.
Can we trust the food we buy in the supermarket? Does the chef in the restaurant use contaminated fish? Even if it is a restaurant you used to go to for years.
And you don’t want to distrust the people around you! But at some point you have to.
It feels very disencouraging to feel like there’s no safe bridge no matter where you turn to. To constantly question everything around. It’s too much thinking.
In this kind of time, I feel it’s especially important to trust in people. I don’t mean just trust anyone.
But don’t get too paranoid, and stop trusting anyone.
And that is not just now. At any time, there’s people you need to put your trust in. Having someone you feel you can really trust is a thing that can take a lot of weight off your heart.
At ARI, I met many people I felt I could trust. So many people who have such strong and pure hearts. One thing that shows that is Morning Gathering. You can speak your mind about your feelings, your struggles, your inner wars. Maybe some people won’t like the topic or have a different opinion. But everyone will respect what you share and thank you for sharing it, cause it is from your heart or your own experience. It’s not just anything.
Being here and sharing stories with people I had just met a few months ago was so new and amazing to me. And in general, I think I can trust everyone in this community.
Knowing that I’ll have to go soon makes me really sad, cause I don’t want to not be able see everyone of you each day. I don’t know if I will find people like you to where I’ll move to, people I can trust and work, enjoy, just live with. It’s scary…
… but then again, as I shared in a morning gathering before, one important thing of ARI is leaving. No matter what time I’ll go, it’d be hard every time. But within the year I’ve been here (and also in Germany) I learned thousands of things; knowingly and unknowingly, that I feel motivated to start something new. Start with a new mind, new views and with a feeling that I caught a glimpse of what is really important in life.
And even though I’m sad that I am leaving, I have a feeling I’ll be back anyway. I’m not gone forever, and I hope to meet many of you again. Maybe in Japan, maybe in your own country, maybe in Germany? Who knows!
The last thing I want to say is: Thank you, all of you. You made the last year, you let me have a thousand experiences, you made me feel as a part of ARI. Eating, working, living, laughing, arguing with you is what made me feel so much at home here. I really feel like I have two homes now.
When I thought of the world before, it was a big, anonymous place that I don’t know anything of. It’s a place with so many countries that face so many challenges, struggle in a thousand ways and it doesn’t seem to go anywhere.
I haven’t seen much of the world. But I have seen you and you shared about your life. Meeting you, listening to your dreams and goals, seeing your ambition and your spirit, of all ARI people. Every single person here.
It gives me a lot of hope for the world.
Thank you for being here, for working here and giving everything that you have, every day.
I will finish with a quote by Ernest Hemingway, cause he put it best.
>>The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. <<