An old boyfriend told me once that he preferred to be betrayed than to be mistrustful. I thought it was a very nice sentence. Trusting is one of the most pleasant feelings I know.
I was thinking about that as I was considering whether to freeze the rhubarb and black currant cream that I made the other day when the rhubarbs and black currants appeared in our vegetable box. I don’t tend to eat those things, but something has to be done.
When I get vegetables that cause problems with kitchen logistics because I have no idea how to cook them, I always think of the cooperative of farms that brings us the boxes and that compensates.
I like not choosing when the people that choose for me have criteria and heart. I know that the vegetables are organic, that the workers get a decent salary and working conditions, that they respect nature, that they do research and sometimes reach the conclusion that wrapping cucumbers in plastic is better than not doing it, even if it is plastic.
I trust them. And I eat with pleasure and joy. Even though my jaw gets tired sometimes with their sculptural salads, and I need to remember to cook the meat for longer because the animal reached adulthood, ate real food and used the muscles. I gladly hand over my supermarket freedom to feel the trust of things well done.
I also trust the company of renewable energy that supplies our gas and electricity. They are so pleasant, efficient and human on the other side of the phone that I don’t even consider comparing prices. Especially when I see then headlines about how the prices of energy soar and we get a letter saying the prices go down because there was more wind than expected. It is how things should be.
Another example that I have added to my list of trusts is an organic shop where I bought a flannel sheet knowing that it would pill, because they warned about it. And also explained that it was because they didn’t put any synthetic finish on their sheets. It was then that I learned that most cotton flannel sheets have formaldehyde coating to avoid pilling.
It is more than sheets, vegetables and energy, it is a breath of fresh air. It is the calm of being able to trust. Of knowing that I am dealing with people who share my values and my priorities.
And it makes me happy, and sad. Happy that they exist, sad that they are exceptions. And I wonder when I stopped trusting service companies, supermarkets, banks, telephone companies, big corporations, the art market, politicians, and most of the world that surrounds me. My lack of trust robs me peace, but trusting makes me feel conned.
Luckily I never stopped trusting people. Like Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.
Illustration: “Hibernating” from the Feminist Gooseneck Barnacles series.