In an ever-changing world, trust is often a victim

In an ever-changing world, trust is often a victim by Bob Karolevitz Who can we trust any more?

I finally made it through Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy. Now they spring something else on me.

I�m not an investor in stocks nor do I have a 401(k), but that Enron thing has shaken me more than finding out that Kris Kringle and his reindeer didn�t exist.

After all, Enron was a blue chip company, and then I learn that somebody was finagling with the numbers. Down it went! Worse, though, was the fact that a few bigwigs walked off with millions � enough to solve South Dakota�s school problems and buy a war plane or two to boot.

Who can we trust any more?

Then Kmart files for bankruptcy; Gateway lets a lot of people go; and the airlines are in trouble. Should I be worried about Coca Cola, General Electric and Quaker Oats, too? Are the auditors doing funny things with their books like they did with Enron?

All of a sudden we�ve got billions to throw at this, that and the other thing. And the word deficit has sneaked back into our language when not long ago they said we�ve got a mountainous surplus.

Who can we trust any more?

Next I read in the papers that Kirby Puckett and Michael Jordan are both going through divorce proceedings. They have been my athletic heroes who could do nothing wrong. How did their marriages get screwed up?

Before we know it there won�t be any more Twins, and Campbells� will probably take over the Souper Bowl.

Who can we trust any more?

As far as history is concerned, I always took it as gospel. Oh, I know that little Georgie Washington most likely didn�t chop down the cherry tree like legend has it, nor did he throw a dollar across the Potomac (although money went farther in those days). And Benny Franklin probably didn�t say all the things credited to him; but, in general, we could pretty much bank on what the books said.

Of course that was before they blew the whistle on historians Joseph Ellis, Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough. Even Stephen Ambrose had to apologize for borrowing somebody else�s words. Didn�t he know that taking a little bit from another�s work is called research, and taking a lot is called plagiarism?

We�re used to Hollywood playing a little loose with the truth, but we expect our best-selling authors not to be guilty of anything questionable. Although they say that there is no such thing as a flawless history book, words on a printed page last a long, long time.

Who can we trust any more?

Now it just came to my attention that a committee of scholars has rewritten the Bible to make it more gender-correct. Is that what God said? Supposedly the �word of the Lord� has been changed to fit our so-called enlightened age.

Were Matthew, Mark, Luke and the other guy misquoted? And how about the prophets in the Old Testament?

I admit that I�ve had trouble with that talking snake in the Garden of Eden; and I have never been able to figure out how the three astrologers, kings or wise men got to Bethlehem so quick. Camels are slow, you know, and they came a long way from the East.

On the other hand, I have just chalked it up to lore and a thing called faith. They are good stories, and I have accepted them. But, frankly, I liked the Bible the way it was; I don�t want anybody messing with it.

Who can we trust any more?

Lastly, I have always believed that our government and the people we elect are sacrosanct. I was told long ago that cream always rises to the top. Now I�m old enough to know that so does flotsam and jetsam.

Who can we trust anymore?

� 2002 Robert F. Karolevitz

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