This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!
RECAP: Yesterday you learned three fun and handy techniques for chasing and catching unicorns, which are: Keeping an open mind, being on the lookout for camouflaged unicorns, and learning new things. But wait, there’s one more thing . . .
Chasing Unicorns, Part 2
There’s one more strategy I’d like to point out. It’s not as obvious as the others I’ve described, but I hope it will be obvious enough, once I point it out.
This is the strategy of being trustworthy.
Every human being we encounter possesses a treasure trove of uniqueness. Everyone has a different background from ourselves. They have different interests, different abilities, different viewpoints, and are different in a multitude of other ways. No two human beings are exactly alike. Not even Siamese twins.
Sometimes people don’t appreciate how unique they are, but that’s only because they live with themselves all the time. Imagine having to live with yourself all the time. How boring would that be?
We are all much more unique to others, than to ourselves. Therefore, we all have much to offer each other, whether we realize it or not. This makes us all unicorns.
There are different ways to catch human unicorns. One way is to hogtie him or her. Make this person your captive. Your slave. Hold the person against your will, and mulct all the uniqueness you can out of this unicorn.
That’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. Slavery has been around, in one form or another, since human beings have walked the Earth. The classic form of whip and chain slavery went mostly extinct back in the 19th century. Well, except for with those who indulge in certain sexual proclivities, but that’s a whole different kind of unicorn.
But other forms of “slavery” persist. For instance, spouses often become enslaved in their marriages, where the manipulations, threats, or pressure from their partners makes it difficult for them to end the relationship.
Many jobs pay what is known as a “slave wage,” where employees barely earn enough to stay alive.
And thefts, burglaries, fraud, and other crimes are common in our world. This to me is a form of slavery. After all, we have to work hard for the money and possessions we come to own. So when somebody steals from us, it’s as if we’ve worked for the thief, for free. That’s slavery, by any other name.
The problem with slavery, is that it can be hard to make slaves cooperate. After all, what is their incentive? And so, the master has to work hard, to make the slave work hard.
Slaves are also not likely to share much of themselves with those who exploit them. That would just leave them vulnerable to more exploitation. And so, when you try to force uniqueness from others, through slavery, you end up with far less uniqueness than they are capable of sharing with you.
When faced with tyranny, people tend to clam up, close up, and dry up, and make their best effort to passively rebel. If they don’t actively rebel. This leaves the tyrant a lonely person. Tyrants miss out on the wonderful variety of qualities that make each and every one of us fascinating, unique beings. Unicorns, in fact.
So if you want to catch a lot of unicorns, try being trustworthy. Be harmless to others. And honor their freedom. Freedom is the most precious right that humans and any other being can possess. We must have freedom so we can pursue unicorns, untrammeled, and find our happiness.
When you avoid harming and enslaving others, and when you honor their freedom, you make it possible to win their trust. And when you’re trustworthy, they’re most likely to share themselves with you. They’ll share the things that make them so unique. And in this way, you’ll capture a unicorn.
Which must sound kind of ironic, because you have to allow unicorns to be free, before you can catch them. And the way you hold onto them, is by continuing to allow their freedom.
Trustworthiness is won in other ways also. For instance, when you take care of yourself in a competent way, you free others from the burden of taking care of you. So the more independent you are, or at least try to be, the more likely you are to win the trust of others.
Being competent in what you do for a living is also a good way to win trust. Nobody has to cover for you. And your employer or customers receive quality for the money they pay you.
Quietly and anonymously helping others can also win trust. The way this works is by the way it affects your demeanor. People can sense untrustworthiness. It shows up in the little things we may do. It displays in many ways that we have no control over, including in the way we fidget, or the way we express ourselves, and in the things we pay attention to.
Often our demeanor is displayed in such subtle ways, it registers in the subconscious of others. They get a feeling about you, that they can’t quite put their finger on. But that feeling may lead them to either trust you or not trust you.
So if you’ve been quietly cheating and thieving from others without ever getting caught, it will still show up in your demeanor, and lead to being distrusted. Nobody ever gets away with anything.
And neither can you get away with quietly and anonymously helping others. This too will show up in your demeanor. While you are being all modest and secretive, your demeanor will be inadvertently announcing to the world just how trustworthy you are.
And that little trick will help you to catch unicorns, even when you’re not even trying to catch them.
I hope I’ve passed trustworthiness off as an obvious and conventional way to catch unicorns and enrich your life with unique experiences. And I hope it makes sense.
But the next hunting technique is a whole different ballgame. There’s nothing conventional about it, nor anything obvious. And it’s hard to make sense of it. It’s a secret weapon you can use, to corral unicorns before you have to chase them.
And those unicorns are waiting for you right now, with heads raised, ears perked, and nostrils flared. Over in the next chapter.