My 2-year old niece used to amuse herself by playing some absurd and possibly dangerous game. She would stand on the bed, close her eyes, draws a silly expression on her face, something like a stupid smirk, then throws her weight down, falling face-first on the mattress with her hands to her sides. She wouldn’t use her hands to cushion the fall or to protect herself in any way. She would just fall right down on her face while we watch in horror.
You may wonder how a little girl could do such a thing. Well, aside from my niece being a thoughtless cuckoo, I think there’s a great psychological aspect to this. Zozo, my niece, seemed to be sure the mattress will absorb the shock of the fall, she trusted that, and that’s probably why she so no danger in falling down. Of course a 2 year-old wouldn’t know the natural laws of physics and how that works, but apparently she trusts that more than any physicist, who will probably be quick to move his hands to cushion his fall if he tries to do this.
This reminded me of something I read sometime ago. It was about a professor who conducted an exercise for his class where one student will try to fall backwards and wait for their colleague to catch them. Everyone failed to carry it through, they would always stop and support themselves as a natural reflex, until one girl came forward, closed her eyes, and kept falling back until she was caught by her colleague. That’s was the professor’s way in teaching the students that sometimes you need to trust others and put their faith in them.
I think each of us can relate to this. Let me ask you this: for those of you who can drive, do you feel uncomfortable being in the passenger seat? Well, studies show that the driver always feels more secure and in control as opposed to the person sitting next to him. Personally, I don’t suffer much from this, but I did once try to close my eyes through the trip and trust the driver completely. That was a good exercise, and I got to sleep for a while before I sitting behind the wheel.
I think it’s a critical issue this of trust. We’re always questioning each other, even questioning ourselves. We even question God. I learned that when I’m afraid of something, I would tell myself this: “If God doesn’t want me to get hurt, nothing in the world would hurt me, and if God wanted anything to happen to me, then I’ll trust there’s a wisdom behind it, and I’ll be thankful and content with it, in sha’a Allah” That’s how I stopped being afraid of anything in the world.
Trusting yourself is a serious issue too. Many things we want to do and we don’t not because we can’t, but rather because we think we can’t, or we let people tell us we can’t. I remember when I was about to graduate from University, I mentioned to some relatives that I was looking for a job. Someone, -who I dearly love and value just to be clear- laughed at me for that, conveying his opinion that I wasn’t able to take a real job in the real world. Like I wasn’t strong enough or social enough. And what do you know? I started on my job before I even graduated. And to tell you the truth, part of me was motivated by proving him wrong, I’m not saying it should be a motive or that it was my main motive, of course not, but that’s the truth.
Trusting people, however tricky it could be, is important too. Some people might find it hard given that they tried to do that before and were betrayed or disappointed by those whom they trusted, but that doesn’t mean that the world is out of good people with whom we can sit back, close our eyes and let them do the driving. Zozo also sets an example here, for she doesn’t only trust senseless objects. Every now and then she would stand on something high, a table or a washing machine or something, and then her father will tell her to jump into his arms, she does jump but her father lets her think that she’s going to fall down for a millisecond before he catches her up. Of course her pulse hits the roof with the scare, but she does it over and over again. She trusts that he’ll catch her.
Maybe it’s in us to trust people, but this trust is undermined as we grow up. I’m not saying you have to be naïve, just give yourself and others a break, and if you find those who you can trust, don’t ever let go of them, and don’t ever lose their trust.