Friday, August 11, 2006


I hope you are not already bored stiff waiting for my second post, and for the answer to that BIG question: “Why they don’t just take your money and not send you anything?”

I’ll try to put the goddamn answer down here. If you reached the bottom of my post that would make me happy. If you managed to leave a comment, I would be in great delight.

So whether you were a poor guy who was unlucky enough to buy something from a shop in Damascus, or an expert merchant who believes that "Business is smartness"... It doesn't really matter if you believe in that silly motto or not…
If you are someone who can sell a 300 SP item for 1200 SP, or you are still trying to find a way to convince your customers that all the Chinese goods in your shop are all French-made (No offence!) Just go ahead and read the answer!

Why don’t they take your money and send you nothing?

  • Because nobody here (I mean UK) would even think of stealing (just out of curiosity!) your mail from the pigeonhole messagebox
  • Because when you go to the shop and buy an item for £49.98, the shop assistant would give 2 pennies back. Not two "Chicklets" chewing-gums, not two pieces of sugar, not even two medic wound-plaster
  • Because a driver here would stop at a red traffic-light, whether the road was clear or not. And in the absence of any police officer
  • Because although smoking is still allowed in public places, the guy sitting next to you in the park would ask for your permission before lighting his cigarette
  • Because you can close your eyes and drive in the cyclists lane safely
  • Because a porter would knock at your door before coming in even if he knew that nobody was in there
  • Because they call the National Health Service here: the Trust, and eventually, they trust it
  • I can count endlessly, but…
Simply, if we all trusted each other, life would be much more easier than if we
all thought: “he is going to take my money and run away

Trust is not something that can be built overnight. But on the contrary, it could be destroyed at the drop of a hat…
Trust is something that could be connected to reputation, but is actually different. It is the reputation you have for a stranger, someone that you have never met…
Trust is not something written down in any textbook, it is not something that people learn at school, it is not even something clearly defined. It is that bleary feeling of safety we have towards the public. It cannot be achieved by an individual effort, but by collaborative one.

I would not go as far as saying that anybody is trustworthy. But there should be a certain limit that would enable you to have a simple, normally unsuspicious approach to everyday life.

I don’t know what level you can feel, but believe me: it deserves to give it a second thought.


Angel said...

Excellent post Ascribo
Bored?! Not at all….I was anxiously waiting for your second post!!!
It is a great topic for discussion my dear knight. Thanks for provoking some thoughts; How to build a long-term trust should, in my view, be a higher priority in our lives. Behave ethically is the key… At its core, people trust you when they know you're safe to deal with!!! They observe how you treat them and others. Do the right thing in all your dealings and people will get it. They'll know you're trustworthy!!
It's really quite easy; if you want to be trusted, simply be trustworthy!!!
Thanks for putting in the energy to write a great post my dear, I really enjoyed it...
NO DOUTE … I will keep on reading… :-)

Ascribo said...

Thanks for passing by, dear Angel

I just remembered an Arabic saying (a part from a poem by Motanabbi)

If your deeds were really bad, you would be suspicious when dealing with others!

Angel said...

This is true…How we make any choice in life depends, to a large extent, on our experience. Our ability to trust is affected by everything we have been exposed to in our lives. When we experience one breakdown in trust we feel uncomfortable, angry and confused…. This simply will damage our tendencies and readiness to trust self and to trust others.
Trusting another person requires a realistic perspective about people.... But of course a great expectation of failure!!

abufares said...

It used to be that a man "in this part of the world" had only to touch his mustache and give his word. That was more trustworthy than a bank guarantee or a letter of credit.
Amongst people of honor, this is still true. In general though, the trust has gone.

However, after all is said and done, after confirming and agreeing with you 100% that, in general, the word of say an average Englishman or an American is still a valid one, we need to take a look at the deeds and words of their governments and the terrible way in which they have raped the honor and trust of the entire world.

Ascribo said...


Thank you for your wise comment. I can remember the shades of "One's word of say" from my late childhood. It's on the way of becoming extinct, I'm afraid.

I feel I don't trust a word of say anymore. I used to always expect the worst, especially when anybody confirms his word more than twice. But what astonished me in UK was the silent way of confirmation. I didn't hear any word of say, I only have seen deeds, And thus, I signed up to Trust. Now, I take it for granted that everybody will be doing their job, and sometimes more, without all the noisiness of swearing and confirming...

I love Munich said...

I like your post very much - it gives me to think. Trust ... that's what we all were born with, unknowingly of course - but it was there. Unconditional trust that is. During the years we all made bad experiences and it diminished, little by little, till, for many of us, nothing was left.
I try to think how I feel ... it is a matter of honor to respect if someone gives me to understand he/she trusts me, I personally wouldn't even think of betraying that trust. But that's me ... it's one of my rocksolid principles I have established for myself. I believe in the law of action and re-action (of 3rd law of Newton) - but not only that - I would feel terribly rotten inside would I cheat on anyone's trust in me.

It is interesting to hear that this kind of honor exists still in England ... don't try these things out here - you'd most likely get a "bloody nose"!

Ascribo said...


Thanks for your comment.
It's always interesting to know about different levels of Trust among cultures.

Actually, for someone (an honest one!) who moves from a low-level Trust to a high-level, he'll definitely feel a relief...But the other way around can be risky!

Anyway, thanks for the warning! And for your Trust!

The Syrian Brit said...

Let me tell you a little story along the lines of trust and honesty..
Many, many years ago.. over 20 years, in fact.. I came over to the UK, and started my professional career here as a 'House Officer' in a lovely town called Shrewsbury.. (for those who are not familiar with the term, the House Officer is the lowest form of life on the Hospital Ward.. everything is dumped on you, and you are blamed for anything going wrong!..).. A few months later, I got a post as a Senior House Officer in the same 'firm'.. A year later, I got another SHO job in the same hospital, but in a different Department.. A few days after I started, I got a phone call from the Medical Staffing Officer, saying 'We are really sorry, but we have been paying you the wromg salary for a whole year.. We have not changed your pay when you became a Senior House Officer, and we owe you the sum of £'whatever it was'!!!.. Now, that co-incided with the birth of my twins!.. and what a lovely and timely present that was!.. The intersting thing was that I, in my legendary indifference to money matters, would have never noticed it.. and even if I did, I would have thought 'tough luck'!.. But the System made sure that I got every penny I worked so hard for.. And that's where trust comes from.. the Laws are there to protect us, and to make sure that our rights are preserved... Can you imagine that happening back home????....

Ascribo said...

Very touching story the Syrian Brit

These few, deep differences between the two cultures are really amazing. I'm getting to know an increasing number of them, and I'll try to write down what I'm learning...

Thank you for enriching my post with your own story