Should we be a less trusting society? 149



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Remember back to when you were a child. You could jump on the bike, shout out to your Mum that you’re riding to Johnny’s house and as long as you were home by the time the street lights came on you weren’t going to get in to trouble. Now remember when you got into mischief at the local park and Mick the baker or Jim the corner store owner would come out, grab you by the ear and take you home to Mum. He’d also call her by name and then make plans to come over for dinner one weeknight. This was the trusting, communal, mostly high integrity life we once lived. But sadly today isn’t the same. So we’re asking the question, should we live less trusting lives?

In the last six months there are so many horrific incidents that have occurred – all from being too trusting.

Three-year-old William Tyrrell was playing in his Grandmother’s yard when he was abducted and over six months later he’s still nowhere to be found.

Last week, a man went door knocking around several Brisbane suburbs pretending to be Ian Frazer, the man who created the first ever cancer vaccine against cervical cancer. He is alleged to have stolen thousands of dollars from people believing they are donating to research.

Then there’s the countless women who have lost their lives to domestic violence – a number that currently correlates to one every week since the start of the year.

Each of these incidents eventuated from people taking advantage of the trust from others. William’s grandmother trusted her community. The people in Brisbane suburbs trusted that someone collecting money for an important humanitarian cause would be real and they were generous in believing so. Then each woman who died at the hands of domestic violence trusted that person to not harm her.

Everything comes down to the fact that we trust other people. We trust the good in people and we try to avoid scepticism, but is it time that scepticism became the norm?

It is so sad that society has shifted so dramatically throughout our lifetime. Where we once loved and valued community, an increasing number of people don’t even know their neighbours. Where we knew the local tradesman and storeowners, we choose monopolised stores and wholesale retailers.

We can’t live our lives with incredible scepticism because where is the fun in that. But perhaps it is time for us to be more cautious about other people and their motives.


So tell us today, do you feel that we’re too trusting? Should we be less trusting of others in order to protect ourselves? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. There are still many wonderful communities and people out there doing great things. It is so sad these things have happened but they have always happened but unfortunately these days they get so much media attention . I can think of many awful crimes against children and women in my lifetime so sometimes I wonder if we felt safe because it wasn’t in our face as it is today. There have always been places you did or didn’t go as there are now. Of course you should be able to feel safe in your back yard, in your home or at school after hours working …… I did it many times. However we cannot allow these criminals …. Which they are….. To dictate how we live our lives…. We can’t Lock up our children and live our lives behind locked gates or they win. I feel such sadness for the families of many of the awful crimes that have happened lately but I hope I can see the kids across the road playing outside safely for a long time to come. There is nothing better for the soul than hearing children’s laughter as they play in the neighbourhood.

    7 REPLY
    • Unfortunately the world not just our country is a different place than it was,and we have to’s so much harder to be parents…we can’t leave our children without supervision DHESE DAYS it’s just not safe SADLY…

    • Well said. Statistically, our children are safer than ever before. We are going to raise stunted, risk averse adults, unable to make decisions, if we don’t let our children off the leash. Yes, it is scary, but independent play is how children learn to be adults.

  2. I don’t believe things are any different now than when I was a child in this regard, it’s just so much more in the public eye. Blind faith in everyone is just as unrealistic as trusting no one. Be realistic and take sensible precautions. To live your life in constant fear of something bad happening is no way to exist. Sadly, bad things happen to good people.

  3. Reading the posts I realised I’m surrounded by children and have been for the past 20 years, they’re all grown up up now to be wonderful young adults, and I thought, I don’t remember hearing any laughter, we have a little one at the back of us, he cries a lot, but very rarely hear a laugh, just saying!

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  4. It is not the same Australia that I grew up in, my dad died when I was young and my mum and I went to bed with the front door and windows wide open in summer. My mother warned me of strangers but said not to talk to anyone I did not know or an old man with a sugar bag would carry me off..I was always on the alert for old men with sugar bags.. We called the baker by his first name as he came around in the horse and cart, my bakers name was CEC and we went to school with the milkman’s kids.Kids played everywhere without any fear

  5. Nasty things happened when I was a kid too. It just wasn’t in your face like it is now. TV and social media has made us all so aware.
    People nowadays are more cautious, especially with their kids. Doesn’t mean they are safe though. All the watching in the world can’t protect kids from creeps who stalk and grab.
    And domestic violence is rampant. But with the laws the way they are the victims can’t protect themselves.

  6. you would have to be deaf dumb and blind not to notice the changes. Our Grandchildren have less freedom than we had and their children will probably have even less.

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    • Leanne..when we were kids things were not that safe.the freedom is the same I believe.we were just at much risk…I guess maybe it depends where u grew up..I grew up on the fringe of Melbourne..numerous unpleasant experiences never told anyone I thought somehow it was normal..I am pleased our society is far more open these days that is the only difference I believe….we have to live our life…

  7. Nearly forty years ago, my then husband started to beat me from the second week we were married. He became so violent that the horrific things he did put me in hospital constantly and when I left he came back and dragged me home after taking his temper out on my family. It took me three years to get away and the police told me they couldn’t get involved in domestic violence. He nearly killed me, so I don’t think that has changed, it’s always been bad. As for the other things in life? I believe they probably have been too. I don’t think we have become too trusting, I believe the laws are so slow at catching up and technology has been such that it assists the perpetrators these days and makes it easier for them. Until such time as we have name and shame for those who prey on society, until the laws of this land put the innocent first instead of rights of the guilty, we need to be more skeptical, we need to teach our children this and our children’s children. We need to be vigilant. It is now a fact of life!!!!! But we need to not let it rule our lives. We need to stand united on these things as a community as a country…….

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    • So sad to hear you had to go through that terrible violence in your younger life when it should have been your happiest times but it seems you have been strengthened by it to get you where you are today. I hope the latter part of your life has been more peaceful and fulfilling and and much more happiness to come.

    • Thank you Christine. It was a long time ago, but because of the incidents of violence you see now daily on TV, it reminded me that after all those years, they are still getting away with it. I have no doubt my army trained husband would have killed me eventually. I was lucky to escape when I did, so why after forty years is it still the same? Also why do we protect the identity of those who harm our children with the notion that they have rights and send people like Derryn Hinch who challenge those rights to prison???

    • There has always been a percentage of men who control by is a good job you escaped before he killed you.isn’t it sad that after all this time since you were abused..40 years ago.. that they have still not stamped domestic violence out..if anything it has gotten worse

    • I agree Fran….the violence, the abuse still lurks in memories. Yet there seems to be more DV around these days… break downs, violence …….there is no excuse……
      But how do we get the msg across…..that it’s not ok to bash and abuse wives……it’s not good for kids to see it……the trauma affects their lives as well.

    • I agree Trish but it’s all violence against women. I think we need to educate the educator. Stop putting the guilt on women by telling them it will help if they don’t dress a certain way or don’t walk in the park etc – start showing the offenders it is not OK under any circumstances.!!! Start blaming them and making them responsible. How many times have we heard from a politician or police official about what women should do to help prevent this happening. It is not our fault!!!!

    • A few years ago now a lady had spent time in prison, for the murder of her husband, then was released, all charges dropped. She had retaliated to the abuse he dished out to her and her family, on a daily basis. I thought at the time the judge must be like her husband, to put her in prison. My father was a very violent man. But so was our mother, him more so than mom .

    • Well said Fran and what a sick man you were married to,thank God you are free from the kind of violence. I’m tired of hearing it’s the victims fault. We need to reclaim our homes and streets. In all these years the violence towards women haven’t slowed down.

    • Thanks Fran for your comments. We did live in our own little worlds in those days but I remember my sister being accosted by a drunken sailor as she was going to the dairy to get milk. I remember being frightened by the police entering our home. I certainly had violence to contend with but we didn’t let anybody know. I am glad that it is now more in the open but sad if we become too overprotective. It has been great to see my own children not be afraid to take risks and spread their wings.

  8. I hear you Jean Moore, but I have 12 grandkids, eldest 12 (from 3 families) and they laugh all the time. There are giggles galore and tickle fights. Jokes with the family and at the dinner table. I think my grandkids laugh more than I ever did as a kid. But I don’t hear the laughter in the park I admit. Did I laugh in the park? I can’t remember….

  9. Terrible things happened when I was a kid in the fifties, Eric Edgar Cook stalked the streets of Perth and shot several innocent people, domestic violence was prevalent…..the biggest difference to me these days is drugs and the terrible harm and crime they cause, yes there were drugs around years ago, but not ice causing such aggression and madness in the users, also the media which I deplore, who are like vultures, waiting and reporting without any thought to who they hurt as long as they get a story on the front page…..and we hear the same news and sensationalism over and over again…

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