Trust Survives

Ever noticed how differently you feel about the people in front of you in a queue and the treatment you’d like to receive?

I know it’s wrong, but sitting in the barber’s shop today, I was quite keen for the barber to get through the two customers in front of me as quickly as possible but I certainly didn’t want him to do a rush job on my hair. Of course it’s been a while since anyone has had to take too much time over my hair anyway. There’s less of it every week.

Something very interesting happened in that barber’s shop today. The sole operator finished the first of the two guys ahead of me and then got started on the next. It was only towards the end of the second haircut that the first bloke wandered back in and handed the barber some money before heading off again. I figured he was a friend of the barber and was settling his account.

Ding ding. The alarm bells started to ring. I looked towards the cash register and sure enough, no card facilities visible, and I had no cash on me whatsoever. Well, actually, I had eighty cents in twenty cent pieces but that would have bought me roughly about thirty eight seconds in the barber’s chair. I got up and said, “Excuse me. Do you take cards here?” I guess I already knew the answer and I was ready to dash out to find a teller machine. “No … ” said the barber, ” … we only take cash but you can get some money after your haircut.”

I’d never set foot inside that barber shop before and the barber wouldn’t know me if he tripped over me, yet he was prepared to cut my hair and let me walk out of his shop without seeing any return. He was trusting a complete stranger and I suppose the guy who came back with money earlier was in the same boat. I wonder how many people this young guy trusts each day to head out after their haircut and return with some cash.

I’m sure you know that I quickly visited the local teller machine after the barber had finished snipping and headed back with my payment. I was never tempted to do anything else.

How incredibly refreshing. It felt good to be trusted. Trust isn’t something that too many people are offering these days.

Can you remember a time when you surprised by trust?

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Trusting Strangers

cutthroat.jpgWould you let a complete stranger hold a sharpened blade against your neck? I did yesterday.

I was sitting in the barber’s chair considering what an odd thing hair cuts can be yesterday afternoon. We wander into a shop to let someone we don’t know take total control of our appearance. Sure we let the hairdresser or barber know what style we want but in the end we have to simply trust that they know what they’re doing.

It was the first time I’d been to this particular barber and he’s one of the old school guys who still uses the cutthroat razor to neaten things up. It struck me as rather odd that I had a person who I’d only set eyes on for the first time just minutes earlier, pressing a finely sharpened razor against my skin, yet I wasn’t at all concerned.

I suppose we have to trust strangers with our safety every day. For instance we get on busses or into taxis with drivers we don’t know without a second thought. We let pilots that we don’t even see take us soaring above the earth.

We teach our kids about stranger danger then teach them to trust certain strangers by our actions.

We obviously need to weigh up the risks. I would have run in the opposite direction if the same guy came towards me with the same blade in the street, but in a barber shop I can reasonably assume that he knows what he’s doing.

Can you think of other times that we trust our safety to people we don’t know? When was the last time you trusted your life to a complete stranger?

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