Do You Trust Strangers?

0911 book coverI just re-read one my favorite books, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. It’s full of his real life stories and experiences that are fun to read and full of wisdom. Here’s one about trusting strangers:

“How about some good news for a change? Something to consider when you are in a people-are-no-damn-good mood? Here’s a phrase we hear a lot: “You can’t trust anybody anymore.” Doctors and politicians and salesmen. They are all out to rip you off, right? It ain’t necessarily so.

Man name Steven Brill test the theory. In New York City, with taxicab drivers. Bill posed as a well-do-do foreigner with little knowledge of English. He got into several dozen taxis around New York City to see how many drivers would cheat him. His friends predicted in advance that most would take advantage of him in some way.

One driver out of thirty-seven cheated him. The rest took him directly to his destination and charged him correctly. Several refused to take him when his destination was only a block or two away, even getting out of their cabs to show him how close he already was. There greatest irony of all was that several drivers warned him that New York City was full of crooks and to be careful.

You will continue to read stories of crookedness and corruption – of policemen who lie and steal, doctors who reap where they do not sew, politicians on the take. Don’t be misled. They are news because they are the exceptions. The evidence suggest that you can trust a lot more people than you think. The evidence suggests that a lot of people believe that. A recent survey by Gallop indicates that 70 percent of the people believe that most people can be trusted most of the time. Who says people are no damn good? What kind of talk is that.”

Please share your thoughts and experiences about trusting strangers.

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7 thoughts on “Do You Trust Strangers?

  1. hi mush bhai!!nice blog..i think its true that most people can be trusted..its only a few who cheat or break our trust by any one way and we are left with a doubtful heart which becomes reluctant to trust anyone for a long period of time to come..another factor which enhances this negative feeling is others’ experiences or stories,who have been cheated or taken advantage of..in our small world,in my opinion, we do have lots of people who can be trusted..as for the outsiders,who says we should trust them?right?

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  2. I too believe that most people can be trusted most of the time. If anyone betrays our trust at times, how we respond to it, is of greater consequence than the actual betrayal.

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  3. Surprising then, that one of the first lessons we teach our kids is “Dont talk to strangers.” Infact, I just finished reading to my 7 year old, the famous Panchatantra story about the Crane that eats up all the fish it promises to transport to a new pond, only to be killed by the fish friend,Mr Crab. Moral of the story: Dont trust anyone easily. Personally, I believe in the innate goodness in each one of us and yes, approach one and all with a sense of trust and righteousness. Your piece has made me think that we dont just advice/warn people to steer clear of the many crooks around…we even groom our children towards disbelief! Something worth exploring dear fellow parents.

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  4. Hi! I just wanted to take the time to create a remark as well as state I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for all your work.

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