Lasha Morningstar

WE ARE ONE

July 27, 2015

His sky-blue eyes twinkled. Chuckles rumbled up from his generous tummy.

"Oh come now, Lasha," said the kind-hearted rabbi. "Surely you would forgive a man for one little mistake?"

I was taking a Mishna class – the study of Jewish law – and the topic of unfaithfulness in marriage came up. All in the class said yes they would forgive their partner if they strayed.

Not me.

"Just one little mistake?" repeated the rabbi as he looked at me with that non-judgmental smile that made him so loved by his congregation.

Little? No. Straying to me is a major break in trust. I felt my cheeks go red and I replied, "I would kneecap the rotter."

The older Jewish men looked shocked, a few grinned, a couple laughed out loud. The rabbi just shook his head.

Trust is a precious thing. Without it, we cannot function to our full potential. Taking trust away is so wrong, a wrong that if taken to its fullest extreme, becomes evil.

Pause for moment and think of just how much this thread of faith is woven – or not – throughout our lives.

It's more than common now for couples to sign pre-nuptial agreements before marriage.

"Just makes sense to me," said a friend when I asked her if she felt she needed such a legal document when she and her fiancé were obviously walking the same path in life.

"I saw what happened when Dad walked out on Mom," she said. "I'm not going to let that happen to me."

To many of us, life has become one long series of contracts. Gone are the days when a handshake meant a promise made is a debt unpaid.

One can point at our scrambled-eggs-world for our need to try for a little certainty in our lives. Climate change. Countries' economies in a tailspin. Technology tossing time-honoured professions onto the unemployment lines. Thanks to our instant information world we know about each and every negative event.

The feeling of having absolutely no control in too many aspects of our lives causes many to head to a therapist and/or pop a Prozac.

Yes, we do trust in certain situations. When we dial 911, we know, especially given the recent raw wound of losing our fallen officers, police constables will come to help us.

FRONT-LINE HEROES

Given our burgeoning population, the expected contagions that come with big cities – gangs, assaults, murders, break and enters, vandalism, drugs – threaten our peace. These front-line heroes know – see all the blue ribbons – we trust and honour them.

Trust usually begins in the home. Infants, children, teens are taught by their parents that they will provide for them – secure shelter, nourishing food, consistent love, safe boundaries, ethical foundations.

Honourable parenting is one of the most valuable gifts a mother and father can give their children. In turn, society also benefits.

GREED KILLS TRUST

Dig around to find out the reason trust is lost and one usually comes up with one word – money. Example. How many times have relatives fallen out when a will is being read?

One incident tells of relatives hurrying to a dying parent's bed, scooping up her bank cards, emptying the accounts, hiring movers to load up precious antiques that had been left to her designated beneficiary and then high-tailing it home.

That is why an iron-clad will – there's that contract word again – and a pristine executor are crucial to carrying out the deceased's wishes.

Trust is crucial to all relationships. Students trust the teacher or professor will share their wisdom in a meaningful way that allows the pupils to absorb it.

GOOD TEACHERS

The fabulous ones leave us with a hunger for more. Good teachers also put aside any underlying prejudice for a student and grade them fairly.

Trust, to me, is something we earn. Without trust, life drips with misery.

Trouble is, this is a world seemingly overflowing with broken promises, hidden agendas, outright duplicity and lies. People who trust are often thought to be gullible, even fools.

One source I trust is prayer. My entreaties, thank yous, conversations to whomever in heaven I am talking with, are said with heartfelt sincerity.

In truth, there are those wretched moments when it seems as though God is silent. Anguish. Tears. I even say out loud, "Are you there God?"

My venting over, I finally say "Over to you God."

Then I start listening, being aware his way may not be mine.

(Lasha Morningstar lasha@wcr.ab.ca)