Radius of trust

By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo


IN personal relationships, almost always, there is a radius of trust, that is, the circle of people among whom a relationship can be openly nurtured and shared. The radius of trust could be bigger or smaller depending on the quality of relationships built over time. A relationship may be thought of as a series of concentric and overlapping radii of trust. These can range from family, friends, cliques, social affiliations and religious groups.

There are instances when a relationship does not have a radius of trust to rely on. If this is absent, or if the radius of trust becomes so limited, they can only trust each other, and would not be able to expand into concentric levels of trust that would allow its maximum potential. This often happens when a couple’s relationship is not in conformity with cultural and social norms practiced by their communities, religions, and families.

In many parts of Asia, the radius of trust resides largely in families and a narrow circle of personal friends. It is difficult for people to trust those outside of these narrow circles. Other social circles are often isolated and have no interaction with individuals or networks who are able to move between groups and thereby become bearers of new ideas and information and permit multiple social circles and identities to form.

Very few relationships, especially couples with different cultures, survive without a radius of trust. Some do survive, trusting only each other, in an environment where there is total acceptance of differences, appreciation for each other’s uniqueness, and a dedication to building a level of trust and honesty that fully embraces their own truth and nakedness.



I find you lying
in my garden

I can feel the breathing
of your lungs
I can feel the throbbing
of you heart
your skin speaks
a thousand words
of hidden truths

you like it here,
you want to stay.
the flowers know
the butterflies know

your clothes, too
have flown away.
they know.

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