Learning How to Trust

Trusting people is risky. Trust me on that.

Years ago I posted an article about the different types of dumb in the world. There was another kind of dumb I could have mentioned, but I felt it deserved its own post. This article comes after years of thought and contemplation.

Being gullible is another form of dumb. I didn’t include it in my previous list because there are so many factors that go into gullibility. Determining the balance between trusting the information in front of us and questioning everything around us is not an easy thing to judge.

First off, consider your feelings. I’m a very calm person who likes to think things through before taking action. When new information is presented to me the calm is gone and replaced with uncertainty. A judgement needs to be made. Is this new information positive or negative? I consider the evidence, make a decision, and go back to being calm. The ultimate conclusion we are looking for is whether or not the new information makes sense. We want to be in a state where everything feels right. No uncertainty to bother us.

This process happens constantly in our lives. I received a letter in the mail recently saying I could get money from a court case if I just send them my social security number. Something doesn’t feel right about that. If the story doesn’t check out, then we either find out if there is more to the story or we walk away from the situation. When I was a journalist working in Idaho I would enter into government buildings or companies and simply tell them I’m a reporter and they would let me right in. My story made sense to them and they didn’t question it.

My worry is that people too often trust the information presented to them without testing it out for themselves. Not every source of new information is reliable. Many people seek to control the narrative by being persuasive and appealing. Skilled speakers can pacify a crowd of people tricking them into a false sense of calm. When calm we can mistakenly feel that everything must be alright because we feel good about everything. A healthy bit of doubt keeps us from being fooled by smooth talkers.

On the other hand, we have to trust someone eventually. We can’t just question all information presented to us. My image of how the world operates is based on all the reading I’ve done. I trust that the writers did a god job of telling the truth. If not, my knowledge is based on a false sense of reality. I don’t have time to see the world with my own eyes. I have to rely on other people’s eyes if I want to see it all.

My hope is that people will have trustworthy friends and family members to turn to. It’s frustrating when you don’t know how to feel about what you see around you. Good judgement allows us to find the bright side to our circumstances even when things don’t go our way. I choose to have an attitude of hope. If there are people I can trust, I will find them.



Our World

The world belongs to those who make it what it is.

Not all of us are ambitious. Instead of changing the world most of us are happy just to find an equilibrium with it. We take the opportunities given to us and try to not cause too much trouble to the system in place.

I’ve spent much of my life going with the program. I do what I am expected to do. Go to school, get a job, and give back to society. One thing I have learned from experience is that the program doesn’t care about me as an individual. I’m just another face in the crowd. A random number on someone else’s list.

The world is not interested in me being a great man. It is perfectly fine with no one being great. I have to pursue greatness on my own terms. The world can’t offer me the best opportunities because it doesn’t know how to recognize my unique potential.

Potential is unlocked by trying. Even if I had the best ideas in the world it doesn’t add up to much if they remain stuck in my head. Potential that is untapped has no value. Ideas need to be shared to have value. Words need to be spoken. Time needs to be spent.

Other people are trying at the same time as I am. Opportunities are not infinite so I find myself competing with others to get my ideas and words out in front. I’ve had to interrupt people, challenge existing ideas, and speak without being asked to. No one is going to ask me to change the program. It is a work I take upon myself.

Great men become so because they do more than what is expected of them. History remembers those who made a difference and not those who refused to contribute. The world gave me the opportunity to live. I want to make the world better by living well in it.

Stupid Cupid

It is said all is fair in love and war. That doesn’t sound fair.

Dating and romantic relationships comprise a specific part of a person’s social life. For someone like me who is diagnosed with a behavioral disorder it is difficult enough to make friends with people let alone convince them to want to date me. I can’t speak for others, but I’m sure many people share my frustrations with the whole dating game.

As I’ve said before, having great social skills does not make people like you. Social skills just help you to not look like a fool in public. What makes people like you is your unique personality. Someone out there is looking for a person a lot like you. Dating brings people together with compatible personalities and potentially creates healthy relationships. I’m all for it. So why can’t I have one?


I come from a family that doesn’t express their feelings very well. If personal feelings are had in the Meldrum family, those feelings are quietly sealed away only to be allowed out during set times in a safe, risk-free environment. This background made it difficult to learn how to show or receive affection. Even feeling desired provides a challenge.

My own personal experiences of getting close to people are very few. The instances where I became openly affectionate with another lasted only a couple weeks each time. In all cases, I wasn’t the one who initiated the relationship but rather ended up in circumstances that lead to affection. I was just there at the right place and time. All I did was make it easy for people to kiss me.

I’m a little more mature now, but I still make rookie mistakes. People have gotten hurt because I didn’t know what I was doing. I wish I had a better way of learning besides trial and error.


What is clear to many is confusing to me. People talk as if there are simple and intuitive rules to dating. All I see is a flawed system.

For one thing, my priorities are different from a lot of people. I want to meet people. I’m desperate for real human connection. Other people seem to prioritize finding romance. I’ve had experiences where people were hoping I was going to make some kind of move while I was just happy to have what I thought was a friend. When they eventually decide there is no romance to be had they would drop me to look for another person. In all cases, I didn’t realize this was happening until long after the fact.

So much I don’t see. Other people can look at a situation within a context of romance while I remain oblivious. Many women I know had crushes on me, but I didn’t know it at the time. I bet there are many more I am still oblivious to.

Love Conquers All

None of what I have experienced in the past has discouraged me from moving forward. I want to be in a close, personal relationship with a woman who genuinely loves me. I know that the woman I will one day marry is out there somewhere. She’s probably looking for me. I may not be talented in dating, but I am skilled in expressing love. Whoever chooses me to take their hand in love, I will not fail them.

All That Ends Well

I saw a movie the other day.

All movies have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is all about setting up the story, introducing the important elements, and establishing the tone. The middle is where you have all the twists, the setbacks, and the close calls. Finally, the ending answers all the hanging questions, cures the conflict, and brings everything home.

The movie I saw made me think about the times when we are introduced to new people. Most of the time I meet people who are in the middle of their story. They are already going through conflict, struggles, and uncertainty. From their point of view I am seen as either a new asset or another setback. I’m just a supporting character in their story.

My reaction to the world is much different from other people. I feel like I am always at the beginning of a story. Everyone I meet is new to me even if I have known them for a while. I’m always curious about how things may turn out. It makes it so I don’t pass judgement on anyone because I feel like there is way more to the story.

It would be nice to meet someone who sees me as the end to their story. Like I am the resolution they were looking for. The answer to all their questions. The happily ever after.

Trial of the Hero

Our weaknesses can become our strengths.

Many superheroes in stories have some kind of flaw. This makes it so instead of simply winning in every situation the hero is actually overcoming challenges. Way more interesting. These flaws can range from physical impairments to personality quirks. The way the hero overcomes weakness or inadequacy is what makes the character unique and therefore worth looking into.

Sometimes a superhero’s disability influences his or her skill set. A blind man is often shown as being expert with his other senses. A weak man sometimes is motivated to make up for his lack of strength with an increase of intellect. In these cases, focus is taken away from the disability and is shifted elsewhere.

There are also characters whose personal issue is part of their power. One comic book character I know has multiple personalities and he shows a different super power depending on which persona is in control. Some characters have abilities that are connected with their emotional state and they have to watch their feelings so they don’t get out of control. What is a detriment to some becomes a benefit to them.

So what about behavioral disorders? They don’t get much exposure in storytelling. I want to know if there is a way to portray those diagnosed with certain conditions in a way that is both interesting to wide audiences and does not portray them poorly. Unfortunately, this comes with many hurdles.

What genre would you portray the autistic in? If you place them in a comedy you run the risk of making light of their situation. A drama may make their situation look worse than it actually is. And a horror movie might paint the autistic as either a victim or a monster. The autistic may not have a preferable place to get their stories told.

Another hurdle is the fact the story of an autistic person is not always a compelling tale. Nobody makes stories about children struggling at school. Would you go see a movie about a boy who has trouble making friends? Some of the most important stories are of people just trying to live a normal life. How do you make that interesting?

I can’t think of what an autistic superhero could possibly be like. Some would surely lean towards portraying them as tortured geniuses with amazing mental abilities and limited social skills. You can’t portray every autistic person as a savant. What about a superhero who struggles with making friends but has an amazing ability to empathize with how people are feeling? Now that is a hero worth watching.

Every Conversation Ever

Hello. How was your weekend?

We owe it to each other not to be boring. Our behavior becomes uninteresting when our actions lose variety and purpose. I see this apparent in the daily conversations I have with people. We keep hitting the same notes.

Here is what conversations with me tend to sound like lately:

Me: I generally acknowledge your presence.

You: I acknowledge your acknowledgment and am ready to begin conversation.

Me: List for me all relevant items regarding your well-being.

You: My family, friends, and work are all fine. How about you?

Me: Nothing of note at this time.

You: I’m enthusiastic about this one specific thing that is in the news.

Me: I’ve heard of this same thing. I have opinions on that.

You: Yeah, I’m pretty enthusiastic myself.

Me: But what about this other thing I found out about on the Internet?

You: Is this the thing that everyone is talking about?

Me: Yes.

You: I don’t have an opinion on that.

Me: (pause)

You: I might possibly have other things to do right now. Coincidentally, this is a good place to end the conversation.

Me: You can leave after I list a few more things I am enthusiastic about.

You: I’m listening.

Me: Movies.

You: Uh-huh.

Me: Video games.

You: Right.

Me: Music.

You: Sure.

Me: I’m now ready to leave this conversation.

You: I acknowledge I might see you at some future point.

Me: I’m not wholly opposed to that. We should have another conversation at that time.

Pretty much every conversation I have nowadays ends up following this format. Sure, people provide a little variety with their own unique personalities, but what is accomplished is basically the same. We meet each other, we say whatever is on our minds, and then we leave as politely as possible. Have we truly created anything worthwhile with this?

I recognize the majority of people I engage with are not close to me on a personal level. However, that doesn’t mean my conversations with them have to be basic and safe. I want my words to have purpose. I seek to educate people with my ideas. I wish to change their minds on certain subjects. I hope to motivate people to live out their full potential in different areas. Words can be more than just hot air escaping the body.

This was fun. We should talk again soon.



The Problem with Ethics

Speaking about this is the right thing. I think.

You can’t have a blog discussing human behavior without giving your thoughts on ethics. Ethics motivate us to behave better and to consider the effect we have on others. Without ethics we would be concerned solely with our own welfare with no thought to the consequences of our actions. In other words, I do not seek to simply be functional in society but to also contribute to it in a positive way.

Defining right and wrong is difficult. Everyone has their own preferences and levels of tolerance. Still, it’s important to decide for ourselves what counts as good judgment. I will offer at least some of my ideas on how to measure goodwill.

In an ideal world everything would be fair. No one would lose to another. However, the world isn’t fair. Some lose and others win. To let others win we must first lose something. That’s the nature of winning. Choosing one path means we lose the opportunity to walk the other. You can’t choose to be a winner and a loser. You can’t sacrifice and gain what you lost at the same time. There is no choice without consequence.

Some of the consequences we trigger cause others to lose. We rob them a win. You can call this hurt or pain. Fairness demands this imbalance be corrected. Balance is restored when the win and the loss are switched. There are two ways I can think of to restore balance. You can either forgive the person who made you lose something or you can demand that they lose something. Either way, someone has to come off as either a winner or a loser if there is to be peace.

This definition should suffice. All I am trying to say is being the better man is not easy. I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer because of me, but I also want to earn my fair share in life. Is it wrong to want to win? Still, I worry about how other people are doing. There are people who can’t win without my help. What must I sacrifice to lift others up?

Think about what makes something good in your eyes. Try to incorporate as many viewpoints as you can. Ethics mean nothing if they don’t apply to everyone. It’s fair that way.