Doves & Serpents

It makes me think, sometimes, if the thing that makes us trusting is what makes us gullible.

And perhaps, in a world that bombards us constantly with misinformation and lies and spins, there is value in actually taking everything with a grain of salt, with not accepting information readily even if it is from our closest family and friends, our most trusted sources.

Without doubt, it is an exhausting endeavor. To untiringly question everything would require one to put up walls. Sometimes, it breeds a sense of distrust and fear: cultivating this mentality trains us to think that one is forever surrounded by untrustworthiness and deception, that there is no true safety in this world.

Sometimes, it makes me think that what makes us a loving people is what fills us as well with tremendous hate. Our tribal nature nudges us to come to the rescue of our underdogs, of the weakest among us, of our small groups.

We trust more in our family and friends, allowing gossip to spread so easily. We see institutions as alien things: inhuman, inaccessible.

The coldness of facts are no match to the warmth of a good story.

True: we want to believe in the goodness in everyone, but it is easier to subscribe to simpler narratives. Polar opposites of good and evil are less complex to grasp, and thus more appealing. One is either good or evil. (And often, everyone would like to think they are the former more than the latter.)

But the thing is, reality is rarely that reductive. People have more layers than that. Everyone is an anti-hero in someone else’s story; perhaps, even the villain.

We forgive easily. We forget easily. We are trapped in the vicious cycles of our histories.

I wish things were easier. But it never is. And thus, we are constantly vigilant.

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