Misanthropy ariseth from a man trusting another without having sufficient knowledge of his character, and, thinking him to be truthful, sincere, and honorable, finds a little afterwards that he is wicked, faithless, and then he meets with another of the same character. When a man experiences this often, and more particularly from those whom he considered his most dear and best friends, at last, having frequently made a slip, he hates the whole world, and thinks that there is nothing sound at all in any of them.
It was a false maxim of Domitian that he who would gain the people of Rome must promise all things and perform nothing. For when a man is known to be false in his word, instead of a column, which he might be by keeping it, for others to rest upon, he becomes a reed, which no man will vouchsafe to lean upon. Like a floating island, when we come next day to seek it, it is carried from the place we left it in, and, instead of earth to build upon, we find nothing but inconstant and deceiving waves.
Holding this soft, small living creature in my lap this way, though, and seeing how it slept with complete trust in me, I felt a warm rush in my chest. I put my hand on the cat’s chest and felt his heart beating. The pulse was faint and fast, but his heart, like mine, was ticking off the time allotted to his small body with all the restless earnestness of my own.
The only public servant who can be trusted honestly to protect the rights of the public against the misdeeds of a corporation is that public man who will just as surely protect the corporation itself from wrongful aggression. If a public man is willing to yield to popular clamor and do wrong to the men of wealth or to rich corporations, it may be set down as certain that if the opportunity comes he will secretly and furtively do wrong to the public in the interest of a corporation.
Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.
The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing. That is a scientific fact, as well as a psychological fact. Because, your leaders — religious and political — and your books — sacred and profane — have all failed, and you are still confused, in misery, in conflict. So, that is an absolute, undeniable fact.