Trust is not simply a gift. It is an investment. And it is difficult to decide if this investment is worth the effort. Will the other person appreciate your trust? Will they break it? Are they worthy of it? It would be much simpler if there were a test we could use to determine in whom to invest our trust. There is not. We must use the unproven and often mysterious ways of chance and intuition.
All of these questions cross our minds in deciding who to trust. It happens in a split second. Do we give this person information about ourselves that could be used against us? Information that could be detrimental? Information that could be valuable to someone else? How much should we self-disclose? We see all of this play out in Castle Leoch, the second episode of Outlander on Starz based on the book series written by Diana Gabaldon.
Claire has gone to the stable to check on Jamie and his wounds. She brings lunch and they sit for a while talking and getting to know each other. Claire asks lots of questions and Jamie answers them all. The conversation reveals that Jamie is wanted by the English for a crime he did not commit.
Jamie: “There’s valuable information there. I doubt there are any informants in the castle itself, but there might be some about the countryside be glad enough to earn a few pennies by letting the English know where I was [if] they know I was a wanted man.”
Claire: “Does Colum know?”
Jamie: “That I’m a wanted man? Aye. Colum knows. And Dougal. They’re uncles on my mother’s side.”
Claire: “Now I know. Why did you tell me?”
Jamie: “You asked.”
Claire: “That’s no answer. You could have lied. Told me it was none of my business.”
Jamie: “I suppose I could have. Didn’t think of that. I decided to trust you instead.”
For reasons unknown to us at this time in the story, Jamie decides to trust Claire. But he is one of a few that do at the castle. Immediately following this interaction, we have two scenes that illustrate the distrust of Claire. Rupert is told to follow her by Dougal, who suspects Claire is an English spy.
All of this distrust builds tension in the story and keeps the readers and viewers intrigued. We want to know if they will ever trust Claire. She gave them a plausible story, but they just don’t believe her. She knows she can trust Jamie, but why has he placed his trust in her? He has no reason to trust her, but does. The story continues . . .
Have you ever trusted someone you shouldn’t have? Have you ever held back trust of someone that you shouldn’t have? How do you know who to trust? Do you carefully feel your way like Claire, or intuitively trust like Jamie?