“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
“Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief
that sustains thought and holds the world together.” Soren Kierkegaard
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Suzy Kassem
Likely there are many times throughout our day when we doubt another person. It is not like we are skeptics, but for one reason or another we perhaps believe others are out to hurt us, get us, or put us down. No matter where we venture, we have reasons to doubt a person, or a stores perception of the truth. If there is a huge sale, we think it is because they are attempting to get rid of old merchandise. If a friend suddenly calls us to join them on an outing, we assume they couldn’t get their favorite friends to go with them. When we are the recipient of an act of kindness , we wait for the person to ask us for a favor. We just have faith that people are always looking for something.How sad is that? Even worse is the fact that so many of us think this way. Of course we don’t admit it to others because that would be rude. So we pretend we were overjoyed when another does something kind for us and we give thanks. We go home and wonder about what it is they will want from us in the future. Perhaps we are skeptics. I don’t like being a skeptic. I would rather have faith in the generosity of other people, to do something nice, without any notions of expecting the favor returned.
Teens who want to earn some extra cash so that they can buy a certain item, may receive a few job offers from mom or dad. Their first reaction is that mom or dad are attempting to pawn the lousy, dirty jobs off on them. Nothing might be further from the truth, but reason is nowhere to be found. The worker who brings a cup of coffee to a boss or a co-worker appears to be searching for a way up the ladder, or wants help with his workload. How about friends who offer to help us with a project, and then turn around and ask for our help with a bigger project.
We just can’t seem to get away from our reservations. We never believe anything is simply a coincidence when it comes to courtesies. How, I wonder, have we become so jaded, to have confidence in the distrustful motives of others. In a way it can make us feel unhappy. It appears to be a dog eat dog world according to the doubters. It sounds like a horrible world to imagine nobody is kind for the sake of being kind. It makes one wonder how we reached this point. Have others disappointed us so much or held us accountable for repays? Did we just misinterpret another person’s motives, for asking for support with something?
Perhaps we place the guilt on ourselves. After being the recipient of a good deed, perhaps we begin our own search for ways we can repay the favor. It might be our own guilt that drives this payback. We have become a society that has lost the capacity to enjoy small kindnesses for the sake of goodwill. Having no strings attached is confounding to us. We assume everyone is out to receive something. Most of us have been taught that there is no free ride and therefore no assistance without expectations.
I have always cherished those friends and relatives who offer assistance without expectations. Of course there were those friends who made it clear to me that if I would babysit for them, they would return the favor. I suppose that is why so many of us assume we increase our debt with multiple gifts from others. We should consider how awesome it would be if we could support others without making a requirement of reimbursement. Kindnesses provide us with such joyful feelings. They spur us into action and make us feel good because we have met more goals than we perhaps expected to meet. We are also empowered with our own worth. After all, someone thought we were worthy of a helping hand.
I am all for returning a favor. I think we need to have the freedom to return it on our own terms. In that way, we won’t feel pressured into repayment, when the other person deems it suitable. That way we can leisurely choose a good moment, to come to the aid of another person. If none of us felt put upon to reciprocate, we would perhaps be willing to assist others frequently.
I suppose all of this doubt may filter into other areas of our lives. A spouse returning home from work at a late hour may be interrogated about their whereabouts. Children who profess having finished homework earlier may also be grilled. Our doubts regarding someone’s motives, renders us questioning the motives of all those we come into contact with. Now we are living in doubt which is the equivalent of fear. We become a person who is unable to enjoy the support of others.
The certainty of believing in the goodness of others, is necessary, if we are to have faith in humanity as a whole. Whenever someone extends a courtesy to us, whether large or small, we should be thankful. That doesn’t mean we must feel indebted to anyone. Perhaps if we all keep a clean slate, regardless of any indulgences we have received or rendered, we will not be pressured into accepting or doing favors out of compulsion. Instead we will be assisting out of love and kindness.
It is paramount that we refuse to place obligations on the shoulders of others, whether friends or family. By living in a world free of restrictions and debts, we give blessings to the freedom of choice and a loving freewill which fosters empathy. Perhaps spouses will engender more trust in their relationship, and parents will comprehend having faith in their kids. We all can break a rule, but if we believe in each other, we will have renewed our trust in the goodness of people, throughout our world.
“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy.” Yann Martel
“Faith doesn’t mean you never doubt. It only means you never act upon your doubts.” Orson Scott Card
“No one knows for sure that that tomorrow won’t come, but most people assume that tomorrow will still exist as usual. This is Toba’s Paradox, which means, hope overcomes doubt.”
“If you build the faith to trust a friend as God, then your heart can never be broken.” Michael Bassey Johnson