Having read a few interesting fairy tales and horror stories, I decided to do a little post of my own. Trust is very important yet it is also very often broken. From a psychological perspective, there’s always a conflict between the need for trust and our natural tendency to spill the beans so to speak.
Ever since we were kids, we all enjoyed sharing a secret with our best friends and sharing secrets creates a special bond between the people who share them. I was lucky to have grown up without the gadgets that are so prevalent in today’s world. In my time, we shared secrets verbally, either face to face or over the phone. I can think of nothing worse than having my childish ramblings preserved for posterity in screenshots, PDFs and Word docs of message chains!
When you shared a secret, you could be sure that pretty much the whole school would know about it in no time. However, there was always a difference between sharing and telling. If, say, I told Lilly that, instead of going to school, I’d spent the day drinking and smoking with a group of friends and she told Little Lisa about it, well, that was sharing. However, if either Lilly or Lisa went to mum and/or the teachers, that would be telling. I’m sure even the less intellectually apt amongst us can see the difference.
The difference between sharing and telling is the intention. Sharing what you know or heard with others is human nature and we all like a bit of gossip, otherwise half of the regular publications such as magazines would no longer be published. However, when it’s obvious there are certain people you shouldn’t share certain things with, and you go ahead and do it, that’s not human nature but betrayal of trust and, unlike spilling the beans and gossiping, it’s not done innocently and without being aware of the potential to cause harm. For example, if someone tells you they are having an affair and you got tell their husband, you could potentially wreck that marriage.
There is also a difference between hearing about something and being trusted with something. If I’m friends with Jim and I hear that his wife Jill is having an affair, yet I’m not friends with Jill, I could tell Jim about the affair because I consider HIM a friend and I think he should know he’s being taken for a mug by Jill, however, things would be different if Jill considered me her friend and had trusted me with the little dirty secret herself. That would be a major betrayal of the trust she had placed in me.
Over a period of several years, I trusted a fellow Beagle. The rumour mill was hard at work and a number of people were saying Mr Beagle the Mad Dog could not be trusted, they said Mr Beagle made things up and went around telling tall tales to attract attention. A number of Beagles claimed to have been evicted from their kennels as a result of Mr Beagle’s tales. Despite all this, I gave Mr Beagle a chance and, when this seemingly friendly dog befriended me, I became close to being Beagle’s Best Friend.
There came a time when I was presented with evidence that Mr Beagle had been barking in the wrong direction, yet I was still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Mr Beagle had been barking mad and had fallen in with the wrong crowd, something that often happens in school, in real life, and in Beagleland. At some point, this Beagle was barking quite loudly. He’d decided he wanted to bark what we had discussed over a number of rather long barking mad barking sessions, to the Beagle community. I decided to stay away until Mr Beagle cooled off and stopped barking.
The following winter, Mr Beagle appeared to be hibernating, and that gave us all time to cool off. When Mr Beagle awoke just before spring arrived the following year, there was a bit of an uproar and a mass eviction from the kennels. With all the loud barking going on at the time, I couldn’t make head nor tail of what was going on. At some point I found myself locked out of the kennels for a while. When things finally calmed down, I was thrown a key and managed to get back into the kennels.
As soon as I returned to the kennels of Beagleland, I came across a rather intriguing piece of online literature which cause me to become concerned about Mr Beagle the Mad Dog, who I believed had gone back into hibernation. I was led to believe Mr Beagle was in rather poor health and had to move to special kennels where he could be cared for properly. I shared my concern for his health and his rather sudden relocation to specialist kennels with a number of people who, up until then, had not considered Mr Beagle a very friendly dog, and went some way towards convincing them that they were in the wrong.
After this little health scare was all over, Mr Beagle and I were, once more, in regular touch and all the while I believed him to be a friendly dog who could be a Girl’s Best Friend. It was only recently that I was presented with overwhelming evidence that Mr Beagle had, in fact, been barking stuff the wrong way. This wasn’t a case of sharing but telling, it wasn’t a little secret innocently shared with a few friends in the course of friendly banter, it was a case of betrayal of trust, pure and simple.
No dogs (Beagles or otherwise), were harmed in the posting of this story. Any resemblance to any dog of any species is purely coincidental, and neither myself nor All Sorts are responsible if the paw protector happens to fit.