October 19, 2010


Last week, I celebrated a good medical checkup with a trip to the Mall for a soft yogurt. The facility has a large ice rink and as I sat beside it, I noticed 5 children between the ages of 5 and 6 being given their first skating lessons. What courage these youngsters showed as they followed their new teacher on to the ice. They slipped and slid and clung to her with up tilted faces never doubting she would keep them safe as she led them from one side of the rink to the other. The pace was slow and not without its scary moments. “Look out!” I almost cried to one.  But the teacher had reached her student before I could speak and the crisis was averted. Undeterred the youngster continued her slow pace across the ice confident the teacher would save her again if saving was needed.   

In times of serious illness, natural disasters, or when one is near death, trust becomes our world. Those who have friends who can be trusted are blessed. Those in whom trust is placed are doubly blessed.  

Dante’s “Inferno” reserves the last pit of hell for those who have betrayed trust.  Judas, Cassius and Brutus can be found there watched over by the arch betrayer, Lucifer.

Unfortunately the drama of betrayal isn’t confined to literature or ancient history.  One is left breathless by the conduct of Bernie Madoff and the like who duped close friends of many years for the purpose of lining their pockets. And of course there is the endless story of politicians who betray their spouses after what has seemed a happy marriage. 

It’s true trust is difficult to earn and easy to lose. But human nature, I suspect, longs to trust which is why there are more believers in the world than betrayers.  When we trust we no longer feel alone.