trust and believe… criminals!?

Do you trust? Do you believe?

I’m not talking (at least in this post!) about God – I’m talking about convicted criminals!

Tapu Misa has written another thought-provoking piece about –among other things– the house-arrest conditions of Bailey Kurariki, suggesting that the public needs to trust him to learn how to live in society.

If my words above were the only information one had, you might well question her logic, but Kurariki was only 12 at the time of his crime – acting as a ‘look-out’ while his friends (only slightly older) beat and killed a pizza delivery man with baseball bats.

It raises interesting questions about all sorts of things: teenage violent crime, community and family stability, correction methods, authority and…

…trust/belief in other human beings.

Why do we ‘trust’ one another? Should we do it more? Less? Should we treat one another with suspicion? Should we be skeptical?

Keeping things vague and general (‘we’, ‘eachother’) don’t help, do they? Obviously, some times you should trust someone, and other times you really shouldn’t! Many small towns in many rural areas of the world show their trust by not using (or even thinking of having) locks on their doors. Try that in some parts of some cities! Yeah. right.

This kind of ‘trust’ and ‘belief’ is such a… well… ‘subjective’ thing, isn’t it? But, still, it’s a very real thing. It holds families, marriages, communities and even nations together. Without trust, everyone is your enemy. But un-trustworthy people are real. Enemies are real…

Even stranger than that, maybe part of the reason some people are so ‘un-trustworthy’ has to do with how much people have trusted them their whole lives… Maybe nobody really ever did? Maybe trust is needed (sometimes) in the strangest places?

2 thoughts on “trust and believe… criminals!?”

  1. Interesting post Dale. We never lock our doors, not at night nor when we go out for the day, even when we go on holiday we sometimes forget : ). One day we may well get hurt but I’d rather risk that than be ‘hurt’ everyday by locking up the place like a prison. It helps too that I know all the neighbours well and live out of town.
    On the issue of trust, I have come to the conclusion that it is better to trust and be hurt than to live life not trusting at all – simply because the most meaningful and deep ways of relating to another happen in that space of complete trust. In saying that, I have had my trust broken in the past and it was the most painful and damaging experience of my life thus far, so I do also see the sense in the notion that trust must be earned. Kurariki has obviously behaved well during his sentence and earned the trust of those responsible for the decision to release him, and to be accepted back in society he will have to now slowly earn back their trust. And there is some truth in your last paragraph that people need to have opportunities to be trusted, I’ve found at college that if I ask the roughest kid in the class to take over the mufti money tin and I explicitly tell them its because I trust them, they are honoured – if they think that people dont trust them regardless, what have they got to lose?

  2. Beautiful stuff, Jack.

    I especially appreciate your trusting the ‘rough’ kid with the money tin. That’s absolutely lovely. And of course, you’re practially still in control of the situation, etc. so if money went missing, no worries; meanwhile the kid gets to be affirmed in a HUGELY meaningful way. I might tear up… :)

    But, of course, these kids grow up, and from there it’s quite a to-and-fro issue. There’s some interesting things being thought about, I hear, concerning what I think is being called ‘restorative justice’, where criminals are being given a chance to actually contribute to society as well as having contact (if possible and with conditions) with those their crime affected…

    interesting stuff…

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