I’m a little bit of a Persian carpet nut. There’s a store near where I go once a week to do a radio show and every week, I linger outside like a Parisian war orphan pressing its nose against a patisserie. I’ve spoken to the owner a few times and keep vaguely mumbling about month end and pay day. Well, this week I actually walked in a then left with two carpets.
They’re not Persians, but what he called carpet Kelims in his heavy, hard-to-grasp accent. And I love them. I laid them out and walked on them. I sat on them, even cuddled down on top of them, wondering if I could in fact spend the night on one.
The thing is, I didn’t have enough money on me to buy both, even though he gave me an insane discount (more than 70%) but he said, ‘no problem ma’am’ and let me take the second one home on appro. Although he sees me regularly, we don’t know each other except to smile and wave (and he recognises my greedily lustful eyes whenever I slowly walk past). Also, his credit card machine wasn’t working, so he ended up giving me both of the carpets on trust.
That kind of thing doesn’t happen often these days. Trust. But giving someone trust is a wonderful gift. You see, there is no way on this earth that I will let him down. Of course I paid for the first carpet immediately via an internet payment. But I still haven’t yet paid for the other one. I think he knows, though, that carpets are a little different from say a food processor. They’re more than inanimate objects – they are living pieces of art. Each carpet is made by a different family in some distant neighbourhood with an exotic name. Their energy and particular style breathes life into each carpet – in fact, if you watch and listen carefully, you can probably identify granny’s influence, or the youngest child’s first attempts in a small corner. He knows I’ll fall in love with the carpet. He knows I won’t be able to return it.
But back to trust. When last did you fully trust someone? Even a person you know well? When last did you put something truly valuable in their hands and let them do with it what they will? Like your heart. I think we live in such paranoid times that even a step forward in friendship is difficult to make. I believe that one of the greatest fears of all people is the possibility of rejection. We’re scared to take that one step that says, ‘I like you’.
Because of my carpet seller and because his trust has infused beauty and joy into my life, I’m going to actively put aside any fears I have and extend the gift of trust to as many people as I come across. In fact, I did the other day – I couldn’t find a parking and was late for an event, so a very sweet guy in charge of a rental car space suggested he move one of the rental cars for me. Now, I did give him a very good tip for his action, but I also trusted him that he wasn’t going to just walk away and I’d return to clamped wheels or a hefty fine. I thought about it for a while, and decided that I would take him at his word and believe my car would be perfectly safe. It was, even though he was nowhere to be found when I finally emerged.
It’s a little thing, but it made me feel a little better about the world. Little things can make big splashes. So instead of asking yourself who you can trust, put a little faith in humanity and ask who you are going to show trust to today. Perhaps you’ll be surprised.