Years ago, there was a memorable commercial that showed a white-jacketed, handsome man with a recognizable face. His first lines were,
“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” And then he went on to hawk cough syrup.
Many people’s first reaction, on seeing this, was to snort in derision, look at one another and say,
“Do they really think we’re stupid enough to buy something just because a famous face says we’re supposed to buy it?
“Are we so dumb that we’ll trust someone’s advice as a doctor because he plays one on a show?”
Well, apparently, that’s how some people who sell things think about their market:
“Yeah, they’re dumb enough to believe what they’re told, as long as they recognize and trust the face.”
Are they right? Are we that dumb? Surely not.
The artwork, Seaside Story, is a visual story of what trust looks like — and what kind of person in our life it’s worth putting that trust into.
A little girl snuggles into the arms of an adult — this could be her mother, an aunt, an older sister. There’s one person, however, that it is not:
She is not snuggling up to a total and complete stranger whom she only knows through seeing on TV, in movies, in social media, in magazines. She is not snuggling up to an actor, a politician, an Influencer, a talk show host, a newscaster, or somebody who is hawking cough syrup.
She is snuggling up to a person who is worth snuggling up to because that person has the child’s best interests at heart; that person loves the child and is committed to nurturing a meaningful relationship with her and protecting her from harm. When she looks in the little girl’s eyes and says,
“You can trust me,” she’s telling the truth.
That’s a pretty good basis on which to start building the answer to the question, “Whom do we trust?”
Obviously, not all relationships are snuggly ones, nor would we want them to be. But when it comes to trust — the most precious gift we give to any relationship, deep or shallow — we want to make sure that the person we give it to is worthy of receiving it.
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