Is human nature worthy of our trust…?

2020-01-10 in Web Design

During a recent family discussion, I reminisced about life on our farm in the outskirts of Mombasa, Kenya in the early 1970’s. I recalled the time when I managed a little flour mill on our property, where women from the local Giriyama tribe brought their produce to be milled for a nominal fee per kilogram. Ugali, which is made from maize flour, was part of the staple local diet and the standard practice was for each family to store their maize in their homes and mill it in small amounts before consumption. 

I remembered a sweet lady in her forties, who asked me for credit, as her family was going through a difficult time. I was happy to help. Several weeks later, she asked for additional credit, despite not having settled her outstanding debt. I agreed once again, because she seemed like a trustworthy person, and continued to help her out on multiple subsequent occasions, despite her growing bill. Then, she suddenly disappeared and I never saw her again. I felt I had been duped and was sad because my trust had been violated. I left Kenya a year later to study abroad, and forgot all about her…
Much to my surprise, I learned from my mother years later that she did come back to repay her debt, long after I had left. Apparently she had been injured by a reckless driver while walking home one day, leaving her incapacitated for several years. As soon as she got back on her feet, she made it a priority to come back and repay her debt in full.  She sent me her best wishes and prayers.

Over the years, I have found my trust misplaced on numerous occasions, despite doing my best to be as discerning as possible. Sometimes, it is a struggle to keep trusting in human nature, but I continue to do so, because without it, this world can be a very lonely and sad place. I have always believed that it only takes one ray of light to dispel a sky full of darkness. However, each time I find myself let down, and the cynicism starts to creep in, I remember her and immediately press the reset button. This lady has done me a greater service than she will ever know. She has been my beacon of faith in human nature. Bless her, wherever she may be…
©Amyn Dahya

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