It goes like this: 1. Forming. 2. Storming 3. Norming 4. Performing. Even the stories of long relationships seem to go like that. Old friends meet. Old friends argue about how they live their lives. Old friends help defend order in a town. Old friends shoot up the OK Corral.
Superheroes get picked up from their headquarters. Superheroes engage in un-super pissing contests with each other. Superheroes need to work together to avoid small crisis. Superheroes figure out how best to use each other’s powers to save the world.
Girl starts at new school. Girl gets picked on or picks on someone. Girl finds her natural clique. Girl stops bullying problem in school.
It’s fun. We like patterns, and we like following stories whose endings we know. It’s like singing the catchy chorus along with the radio or at karaoke. We feel connected and it’s epic and lovely.
I, however, really only like the performing part. There isn’t drama in the first three–we know the performing will happen. But performing is really just trust, isn’t it? I know if I look at Captain America, he’ll aim his shield at me and I can shoot my laser-beam at it to deflect it to the bad guy.
But what if one time he doesn’t, or he won’t? What if one time he can’t be where he should be in time? That now, is a story worth watching. That’s Civil War! After we measure strengths and find compromise, we’re trading in trust, which is like floating currency. It’s there because everyone agrees it is, and it goes away when we stop believing. That’s the best we get as humans in groups–we buy in to the idea that the other person will always think about us and our needs, in exchange for a promise to do the same, followed by evidence of this truth.
That is terrifying. Even without commitment issues, we all hold our breath when the trapeze artist lets go of her swing, arms extended, waiting for her partner to catch her, even though they’ve been successful hundreds of times–thousands, even. That one, loud declaration of the three scariest words:
I trust you.
That’s where I want to live–that one moment.
Do you trust me?
You can trust me.
This is the whole story, this leap of faith, so I have to ask again:
Do you trust me?