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Trust (courtesy: http://www.gsjarantepao.org)



“True friends stab you in the front.”

—Oscar Wilde

We, as humas, always have friends. And on one certain stage of our life, we upgrade them into mate. Mate is not necessarily relating to intimate relationship or such. Close friends may also embrace the notion, I belive. Such friends-to-mates upgrade equals to a reduced social distance and higher level of self-disclosure between parties involved in the relationship. I argue that the background of why people finally hop in to the stage is because they have trusted each other. Trust puts them into believing that disclosing relatively private information to the other is normal and inevitable. Simply speaking, I believe that trust matters the most.

The proposition stated above may be seen in a film originally introduced to public in August 2007 entitled Resurrecting the Champ, starring Josh Hartnett and Samuel L. Jackson. Among movie critics, the film is perceived to be good (the critics rated this film 59% overall). Some of them see it is rather inaccurate in some points, especially on attempts to explain newsroom dynamics. Generally speaking, the film brought us into a story of a burgeoning-in-career Denver Times journalist, Erik Kernan Jr., who was desperate to face the reality that his latest pieces on boxing were simply less-hearted, said his boss. A complex discomforts, resulting from the mixture of the shadow of his father successful career, broken home issue, and his shrinking writing quality, had dragged Kernan Jr. into a terrible situation until once he met old man brutally stroked by disrespectful young men.

He captured an opportunity from getting to know the hurt old man. The old man who introduced himself as Battling Bob Satterfield was popular to be an ancient star in boxing. Kernan Jr. then went further exploring Satterfield after his meeting with a certain magazine editor, who happened to be Satterfield huge fan and requested Kernan to generate writings of him.

Kernan Jr. underwent approach to Battling Satterfield to dig deeper of who he was and how he lived his life. While socially penetrating Satterfield, the friendship between them established. Kernan Jr. helped a lot the poor old boxing athlete since he began to make money (as well as gaining popularity) from his publications of Satterfield. Both names of Kernan Jr. and Satterfield were instantly rocketed ever since. The plot shows that the friendship got better. On the later scenes of the film, it was depicted that Kernan Jr. upgraded Satterfield to be his mate. He trusted fully Satterfield.  Taking all information given to him for granted. Battling Satterfield’s identity remained unquestioned.

Stopping there, the story seems to confirm the stated proposition which I introduced earlier. When trust exists in any relationship, it upgrades the status; opening chances for more disclosed self; and reducing social distance. Kernan Jr. perceived the information coming from Satterfield to be true because he trusted him as a closest buddy. In this case, Kernan Jr. reached the state where he simply disregarded the authenticity of information given by Satterfield.

It suddenly became a tsunami when it is identified that actually Battling Satterfield was not the popular boxing star, Bob Satterfield.  He was a natural impersonator who fought for Satterfield to make money due to his physical appearance that happened to look like original Bob Satterfield. Since he was not the real Bob Satterfield, hence the news disseminated throughout the country by Kernan Jr. was a miserable misreport. The beauty image of friendship was until then ruined. Kernan Jr. started to dismiss and blame Battling Satterfield, the perfect impersonator, for his lie. Nonetheless, Battling Satterfield is still friend of Kernan Jr. Because referring to Oscar Wilde quote above, Satterfield stabs Kernan in the front. Poor Kernan.

Seeing this, we may extend my proposition by asking, “Does trust really matter in relationship? If yes, how far it does.” In the case of Kernan Jr., trust matters in self-disclosing process. But what is disclosed is a fact coming from an infamous impersonator. We may assume that Battling Satterfield is manipulative rather than truthful. He disclosed facts of person is not him. Kernan, Jr. was awed in the first place and became effortless to double-check. So, before we over-generalize the proposition, we have to put regard to conditions. In my point of view, Battling Satterfield did so to prevent himself. We have to recall that everyone has a private domain in which they keep their original self protected. And from this case, trust does not necessarily allow any parties involved within relationship to open this private domain.

It happens in almost all kind of relationship. I experience the same thing, however. So, if I may jump into conclusion, by taking Resurrecting the Champ as an example, I may propose that trust matters to relationship. Trust allows self-disclosure and let parties involved in relationship to know each other better. However, there is space where anyone cannot intrude—i.e. the private space as I mentioned earlier.


“Do not expect to dive deep. Whether or not people trust you, there is small part in yourself you do not want anyone to know.”