February 16, 2009

Trust Uber Alles

On the television show "Friday Night Lights", the mother of a teenager is taking her daughter to have a tattoo removed. She pulls her car over, gets out, and has a heart-to-heart. She asks her to promise she will not let her down and won't go down the slippery slope that the tattoo seem to presage. Daughter says yes. Mother trusts her. Mother turns around and drives home.

Amazon.com reviewer of Joe Torre's "The Yankee Years":
Torre offers his clear-eyed assessment of Rodriguez as a player who can't succeed as a team player because of his fear of failure. "There's a certain free-fall you have to go through," he says, "when you commit yourself without a guarantee that it's always going to be good. There's a sort of trust, a trust and commitment thing that has to allow yourself to fail. Allow yourself to be embarrassed. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. And sometimes players aren't willing to do that."

Cardinal Ratzinger from book "In the Beginning":
Humans are dependent. They cannot live except from others and by trust. But there is nothing degrading about dependence when it takes the form of love, for then it is no longer dependence, the diminishing of self through competition with others...And because humans are dependent, only love can redeem them, for only love transforms dependence into freedom. Thus human beings will only succeed in destroying their own redemption, destroying themselves, if they eliminate love "to be on the safe side."


Enbrethiliel said...


Tattoos are addictive. My sister has been thinking of getting one and consulting others who already have tattoos; and they all tell her the same thing: once you get one, you'll want to get another . . . and another . . . and another.

So what did the mother say?

TS said...

Hmmm...never thought of them as addictive but now that you mention it...

The mother was fearful that the tatt was symbolic of a glide path to drugs, promiscuity, etc...and she simply accepted the daughter's pledge that she (the daughter) was not on that slippery slope. The mother's initial reaction was of course anger and hurt that the daughter did it without discussing it.

Enbrethiliel said...


Have you ever read Colette's short story The Little Bouilloux Girl? When the narrator is young, she sees a friend putting her hair up in a chignon and wearing more sophisticated clothes--and she wishes she could be as stylish. Her mother nips it in the bud immediately, telling her that those are only one part of the "uniform" of that type of girl; the rest of it includes suitors smelling of cheap tobacco and a sickly baby, born too soon after being crushed by a corset for seven months.

In that story, it was a seemingly innocuous chignon that was the beginning of the "slippery slope." Of course, you'll have to read the story if you want to know what happened to the girl with the chignon. ;)