Day 29: The Danger of Mutual Distrust

Jarlath Opara

Jarlath Opara

Before King Ahmed of Ottoman went to war, he locked his wife (the beautiful Queen) in a private room and gave the key to his best friend Mousa and said: “If I’m not back in four days, open the room and she’s yours … ”

He climbed on his horse and gallops off towards the battlefield. Half an hour later, the King noticed a cloud of dust behind him. He stopped and saw his friend galloping very fast towards him.

What’s wrong ?” Asked the King. Out of breath, his friend Mousa responded: “You gave me the wrong key

The above storyline was lifted from somebody’s Facebook page. It elicited a lot of reactions. Of all the prominent reactions, were those who saw the man’s friend Mousa as quite untrustworthy. His action was hasty, perhaps too eager to have access to the Queen, earlier than the fours days as instructed.

What would have made Mousa to take such a hasty action of trying to open the door barely the King left? In same breath , the intention of the king for giving his friend Mousa the wrong key should equally be put on the spot light. Why should the King do such? Must he give key to Mousa in the first place? Must the wife be left under the care and custody of anybody? Was she a baby, a property that should be bequeathed to someone in his absence? There are a whole lot of whys here.

In these two actions of the King and his friend Mousa, are traces of mutual mistrust.

They were friends,but their friendship was obviously devoid of mutual trust. They were friends for some particular reasons which was not built on trust, but on what each person could benefit.

Mousa may possibly have been the claws with which the King was getting nuts from the furnace. A dedicated a claws, that he couldn’t find an alternative to, had to stick to him, with no option not to keep him as friend. He kept Mousa very close to him ,monitoring his perennial habit of mistrust.

Same equally may be the impression of Mousa about the King. He may have had his own bad experiences in the hand of the King, suffered cheat, etc, but had no option than to keep hanging around the King for the little things he benefits from him, not withstanding his harrowing experience of injustices and cheat. If not why would he be in a mighty hurry to test the key?

The above scenario isn’t strange and uncommon in our day to day activities. People are friends for both the good and bad reasons.

We have friends, we equally have reasons for either making,them and keeping them as friends, even when it is obvious that they ought to have been let off the bonds of friendship.

There are some of our friends whose antecedence placed them on a daily watch. Nothing serious is entrusted to them. They may be competent, engaging, humorous, but when it comes to money and women, they are the wrong persons to have such entrusted to them.

The King probably knew that his friend Mousa could not be trusted with a woman and Mousa also knew that the king shouldn’t be trusted too, there is always cheating history that trails every of his actions.

They knew themselves and never allowed to be outsmarted by the very character defeat of the other person.

This story line reminds me of the mutual mistrust that presently exists between the electorates and the politicians.

The politicians believe the electorates cannot be trusted, oftentimes they have them swear to allegiance and loyalty before the part with their money, the electorates on another breath can’t trust the politicians on their promises, they prefer to cut the much the can during campaigns, after that any other thing is story! Story!!

The suspicion and mistrust between them are mutual. Their promises are mere empty words , each of the two parties are always at their wit, trying to smart each other.

Beyond our political scene, mutual mistrust equally exists in many families, between husband and wife, among brothers and sisters. Even in the religious circles, mutual mistrust equally holds sway.

Everybody is suspicious of Everybody. Playing together but holding ones cards very close to once chest, smiling and laughing, with some imaginary lines drawn, sleeping on same bed, with ones eye closed and the other slightly open, at all times vigilant not to fall victim to the traps of the other person.

Same faith, same baptism, but the level of mutual mistrust is alarming. Same blood, same tribe and traditional, still engrossed in wave of mutual mistrust.

There is this unspoken “pinch of salt approach” to anything that comes from somebody other than us. We smile, laugh, giggle exchange pleasantries, but somewhere, in our mind, there is a ,doubt on the sincerity of the next person.

We have become too unsure of ourselves, too untrustworthy of the events round us, trusting people is gradually becoming a big challenge.

Apart from other things we have as bagages, trust is a huge issue .

Trust can be a fragile thing, but it is the foundation on which all relationships are built.

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.

Stephen Covey

Trust is like a vase, once it’s broken, though you can fix it, the vase will never be same again.

Walter Anderson

Let us build trust and find a way of dismantling mistrust in all our human activities. Once every Dick ,Tom and Harry keys in on it, the world will be a lot better.

Onye na enyo isi ya Ana aputa( He who peeps, risks having his head shown )

We can’t be Christians, can’t be friends, can’t work well as colleagues, can’t make good family etc without a good dose of trust. Mistrust is a canker worm, eaten deep into the fabric of our human cordial relationship.

Learn to trust first , until the trust is abused. And never let the abuse of one person affects the trust of another person. Deal with each person according to the levels of their trust and mistrust.

Mistrust can make one condemn a good proposal and approves a bad one instead. It can make one doubt a good intention and perennially stiffles whatever good intentions he may have up his sleeves.

Mistrust is bad and should be eschewed by all. Let us try not to put up acts and behaviour that would engender mistrust from people and before you mistrust, make assurance doubly sure, that indeed, he or she can’t be trusted.

Happy Lenten season


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