Who's Never Going to Let You Down?
You've got a no-fail means of recognizing the really dependable people out there—a nifty inner gizmo Martha Beck calls a trust-o-meter. The problem: Over the years, it may have gotten a little out of whack and now need a little fine-tuning.
Illustration: Julien Pacaud
I'm writing this in the African bush, where I've just watched five lions dismantling a dead buffalo, a hungry leopard stalking impala, and several baboons snitching part of my own breakfast when my back was turned. Out here, my safety depends on the knowledge, courage, and selflessness of just a few human beings. Some of these people I know well; others I've barely met. We are of various colors and creeds, sharing only a conflict-riddled ancestral history. Yet I feel safer at this moment than I once felt in my suburban American bedroom. It's not that I'm blind to life's fragility or the dangers around me. It's just that I possess a gift offered by many mistake-filled years: At my age, I have a pretty good idea what and whom to trust.
Published on February 17, 2009