Early on in life I realised that while it is very easily to collect evidence to prove someone’s guilt, it is often nigh on impossible to prove innocence. I remember feeling so angry and frustrated about this unjust aspect of life. In a court of law one is meant to be “innocent until proven guilty” but in real life that logic just doesn’t apply. It is sad really. It is sad that humans can be so mistrusting. It is sad that we are often so closed that we will not allow ourselves to believe the truth. It is sad we are so hell bent on protecting and shielding ourselves that we shut out more than we should.
In my youth I foolishly believed that once I reached adulthood this sort of nonsense would be a thing of the past. I assumed that adults were mature enough to think and respond reasonably – almost logically. I trusted that the days of unfounded accusations would be long gone. I imagined the people I would associate and interact with would be rational and sensible. How naïve was I to think such things let alone believe them?
Okay it is true that in order for your innocence to be accepted and, preferably, assumed, there has to be trust. The level of trust required probably depends on the gravity of the situation. Now I am not highly virtuous nor am I pure and blameless. However, I do admit to my mistakes and confess my guilt when I have done something wrong. So I guess I have this wonky way of thinking that makes me assume people who know me proper will know what I am capable of. In other words, they know my boundaries and know if I am asked, I will put my hands up if I am to blame. Sadly this is also not the case at times.
While good communication between people plays a big role in all this, much of life is about taking risks in various forms. To go beyond the emotions and fears and listen with an open mind to someone you think has done you wrong can be scary. It is a risk that needs to be balanced by your own ideas of potential rewards. Therefore, it is often easier to not take that change; to not run that risk.
Personally, I try to take each situation and person at face value. I often trust people too much and get burned by doing so. But I don’t like the alternative. I have no desire to go through life second-guessing everyone and their motives. To me that would be far worse than the pain of being let down by those few who were not worth the risk.
See the good in others; Trust people more; Take the risk; Communicate openly.