Trust Me…

Our world gets a little more complex every day. Just when you think you have things figured out something out of the blue hits you right between the eyes. It could be an event or concept. Where do you go? I think we have to start with trust.

It has been called the glue that holds everything together and I think whomever coined that phrase was right on. But how do you gain trust or more importantly how do recapture it after is has been lost? 

Whether it is your parents, siblings, friends, boss or lover you approach things warily. You take small steps at first and then increasingly feel comfortable opening up. You get enthused as the door to your and their psyche opens. As you increasingly feel that you are not going to get hurt, you let them see more and more. It is very human.

As much as we crave community, you are ever watchful. If you have had a great childhood with few disappointments you are more prone to believe. If you have been hurt either physically or emotionally you are saying I never want to go there again. We see severely deprived adults who can’t even conjure up a smile or a wave. How tragic but oh so understandable. 

Trust is belief in someone or something. You know it to be true and reliable. Sometimes we accept all that without empirical data and that is a thing called faith. You believe because the person speaking has degree of competency in their certain field. Words that pop out to me are reliability, authenticity and fairness. It is so hard to achieve and even more difficult to win back. Once burned, you are petrified of the flame. 

As I think about all the things I believe in, I harken back to my youth and parents and siblings. My parents loved me and I responded. Not so much my one brother who needled me constantly and I thought he could clearly be labeled a terrorist today. Ha! Friends were many and some even became close.  You won’t tell anybody, will you?

School at the onset was rote. Who am I to argue 2 + 2 of course equals 4? Doesn’t it? But as you go on you begin to have a doubt here or there and in some cases outright revulsion over what was being said.I just don’t agree! You are starting to think independently. That was what learning was all about but of course today that discourse is not allowed. 

I used to have a lot more trust in the government. They were smart or at least productive and “In God We Trust.”  Unfortunately they tend to think those words on the fins and c notes referred to them personally. Not so.

For me it started with John Foster Dulles and his brother at the CIA who thought they could play chess with countries. Watergate, Iran Contra, the Rose Law firm, K Street, dalliances, elections, Russian influence etc showed that most if not all politicians had their flaws and some went very deep. 

All one has to do is look back at the Great Society and the trillions spent with scant results. WMD’s brought us to war even though they never existed. Money commandeered with the right intentions gets siphoned off in bridges to nowhere and a detailed review of the latest COVID relief bill shows the kids are still at work.

The world scene? Do you trust Russia or China? How about Turkey, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba ?  The World Health Organization(Who) ? Maybe even the UN? We all have our skeletons but it is hard to trust egocentrics and petty dictators. 

Big business? Volkswagen,Boeing, JP Morgan, McKinsey et al, have paid out huge sums to make things go away. All without admitting any guilt of course. Bernie Madoff conned hundreds of people and institutions. He even betrayed his Jewish faith by screwing many temples with equanimity. You just don’t do that! Have you no conscience?

Speaking of which, how about religion? The Catholic Church, not my faith has lost me. The lies, the coverups and sanctimonious preaching was beyond a breach of trust to those they counseled.  Ministers and rabbis are right up there but not as easy or visible a target. 

Doctors and coaches molesting at will. I could go on and on. Am I being unfair? Have you lost faith in me? Good question. I have often felt to solve a problem you have to admit to it. We are not very good at that. If you want my trust there are some simple things you have to do to get it back. 

Be sincere and be vulnerable. No one is perfect. If you are wrong, admit it. If you don’t know the answer don’t try to BS me. It will come back to haunt you. Learn to trust others. Don’t think I can’t take the truth. The Donald and Cuomo were almost complicit at the same time in the failure to give us the facts. Equal Opportunity Offenders.

How about being humble? Look yourself and then me in the eye. Show me your warts. I will do the same. Then maybe we can get back on track. When you believe you are beyond excited. When you see inequities and falsehoods it sucks all the air out of the room. We are devoid of oxygen in many places on our big blue marble. 

Hopeless? No, but a daunting endeavor lies ahead. Where do I get just the facts to make my decisions? Is the speaker sincere or duplicitous? Do the corrupt speak for entire countries and institutions? Do we have the inner drive and gumption to turn things around? Therein lies the problem. Trust me. 

As always 

Ted The Great


Digital information which floods our world is suspect to many. Are the claims honest? How are you going to use my personal information? Is my credit card info going to be pilfered? Yet we pound away all day on that keyboard or phone. 

People you should not trust are fickle, tell secrets to others, are too sweet to you, competitive, narcissistic, lack empathy and are social climbers. Yikes, is anyone left?

Lying…telling falsehoods. We all lie between one to two times a day. I am sorry I am busy. I think you look great. I feel great. If you lie five times a day you are probably younger, male and have occupational status. Memories of liars become reality in the their minds. It is easier to lie in an email than it is in pen and paper or in person.  Ask me no questions, I will tell you no lies.?

Pew Research:

35% have low trust, 41% have medium trust 22% have high trust

The top professions that are  trusted are scientists, military and police officers, with journalists, business leaders and politicians bringing up the rear. 

Attention Please…

My wonderful and very liberal daughter, Megan gave me a subscription to the Sunday New York Times for Christmas. She thinks my thinking is too far right or for sure too far right of hers. I am a grateful donee. It does take a few hours of my Sunday morning to get through but it keeps me off the streets. 

The Sunday Review revealed a particularly interesting article by Charlie Warzel. Spoiler alert: I am going to plagiarize many of the thoughts presented. They were outstanding. 

The gist of the article was an interview with a guy in Berkley who was somewhat of a  savant about the internet, websites and reality TV to name a few. In the early nineties he focused on appropriately, ”Attention”. It seems it is currency of sorts that we distribute without giving much thought to its worth. 

A zillion times a day we are bombarded by requests for our attention. It could be the boob tube, newspapers, the internet or just someone with something to say. Each one wants you to take notice, to be of interest to you or on the other hand to have meaning themselves. 

I don’t know about you but I am getting numb to a lot of things no matter how much the volume has been pumped up. A coup in Myanmar, floods in India, snowy weather, the impeachment trial and worst of all daily COVID stats have the ability to have me pay no attention at all. 

Now if they have something to say that might enhance your life or get to your soul you might perk up and want to hear more. You break out of that semi conscious state and in a sense they have caught you. Tell me more. It’s like the guy who will enable me to hit my driver thirty yards further. Where do I sign.?

Whole industries have grown up about buyer psychology and behavior. The type of music or the color of the background all are perfectly tailored to get the most out of you. The truly scary part is the the good old algorithms and AI are going to be able to design a pitch geared to you and you alone. 

Our writer surmises that the more attention you get the more powerful you are. If your posts are seen by millions that is cash in the pocket of the writer or votes for that particular politician or sales on HSN. If you have thousands or millions on your Twitter account that is some pretty heady stuff. You are king or queen of your empire. People genuflect at your every word. It really happens.

Now let’s get back to that whole ides of you giving attention. Or better yet trying to feel like you mattered because no one was reaching out to you. You were the unwashed masses and the Donald tailored his pitch directly to you. You mattered. You counted. And no one had ever really done that to you before. 

Is it possible to be selective about who you give your attention to? Yes, but I think it would take practice, patience and curiosity rather than blind acceptance.

Get back to that idea of it being a currency that I can choose to spend or not. Look at yourself as a panoply of responses that you want to dole out carefully. Be selective. Even be demanding. Not in a snob like way but to put some barriers on who you let in. 

 I can get your attention in a number of ways. I can yell at you.I can whisper.  I can slam doors or bang gavels. I can create an aroma or a bad odor. I can push eroticism. Sex always sells. I can preach a gospel. Maybe not so much. I can offer you riches. Get rich quick. I can tug on your heart strings for pity and maybe a shekel or two. 

We have to work hard at paying attention. We want to be wowed and captivated otherwise we shunt it aside or merely daydream. We have labeled it a disease as in ADHD. No doubt some suffer deeply from it but for others it is just an excuse for goofing off or screwing up. There is reality out there that I would rather not deal with. 

It seems to me that type of approach might actually make our lives better. For the past couple of nights I have avoided any contact with TV. I sit in my corner chair and just look things up that interest me. I read an article or book. I go back to reread an article I may have glossed over in the Sunday Times. A little classical or smooth jazz sets the scene. Hmm. That feels pretty damn good. 

I am here at an early hour. I am humbly trying to pour out drivel so the I might get your attention. It is a wonderful sport. You help me think things through and see many sides. I feel some sort of duty to be witty or pithy. It’s all in there. I just have to make sure I get it out right. 

I have to catch your eye. I have to be worthy. In a real sense I am not trying to get your attention. I am really just paying attention to you. Nice concept.

As always 

Ted The Great 


The average person has about 48.6 thoughts per minute, according to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California. That adds up to a total of 70,000 thoughts per day.

Finding Nemo. Our attention span has gotten shorter. From 12 seconds in 2000 to less than 8 seconds today. The attention span for a goldfish is 9 seconds. How the hell do they know that?

Psychologists found that the human mind is actually wired for this state of continuous distraction. In a study conducted with 2,250 adults, they concluded that we spend around 47 percent of every waking hour “mind wandering.”

FOMO (fear of missing out), FOBO (fear of being offline), and nomophobia (fear of being out of mobile phone contact)—all forms of anxiety that border on obsession or compulsion. People are constantly checking their laptops, tablets, and phones because they worry about receiving new information after everyone else, responding too slowly to a text or an e-mail, or being late to comment on or like a social media post.