August | FULL BLEED
The Age of Recognizance
By Tricia Stewart Shiu
Full Bleed | The Age of Recognizance – Read by Tricia Stewart Shiu
How much do you trust yourself … to be trusted?
Imagine the following scenario:
[Insert Your Name] — hereby released by the court of law on your own recognizance, to return, to this court, 30 days from now.
In this scenario, the court. the judge and the lawyers are trusting that you will return for your appointed court date. There are no shackles, there is no electric fence, there is only your word, that you will return.
According to Findlaw.com, “When a criminal suspect is arrested, booked and granted release on their “own recognizance,” or “O.R.,” no bail money is paid to the court and no bond is posted. The suspect is merely released after promising, in writing, to appear in court for all upcoming proceedings.”
Of course, this is only one example, but, there is a certain amount of trust that comes with any agreement.
ARTISTIC ALLEGORY | LE MOT JUSTE
“Society is a contract that we sign as human beings with each other,” Trevor Noah said in a video posted on The Daily Social Distancing Show on YouTube on May 29, 2020, titled, “George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper.” “Whether spoken or unspoken, we agree in this group to common rules, common ideals, and common practices that are going to define us as a group … And the contract is only as strong as the people who abide by it.”
In every scenario and circumstance in our lives, there exist boundaries that we acknowledge and agree to. The edges of those boundaries can be tested, by us or others. Those very boundaries make life livable or unlivable for each of us and within those boundaries we can experience our own heaven or hell, sanctuary or cesspool.
The agreement to the boundaries is fluid and whether real or perceived there are certain hard and fast rules on which, we must agree. However, there are loads of unspoken rules that people, including ourselves, blindly follow merely because they’ve been there and it’s just too hard to change.
Some people live their lives at the very edges of those boundaries pressing up against them smashing them until they are bloodied and battle-worn, while others deepen their resistance and withdraw to their center of those boundaries, far away from clashes or anyone who might be pushing them to change.
We all have a purpose in life. Some people are born boundary pushers. You know the type, the kind of people who wish to see how far they can go before they’re stopped. Others find comfort In the routines set by those boundaries.
The challenge is living together.
Trevor Noah also said, “There is no contract, if law and people in power don’t uphold their end of it.” So, at some point, there will be a clash and whatever injustice appears, it must be addressed. Noah’s video certainly hit a nerve—receiving over 9 million views!
Trust is the main thread that runs through the principles of society.
Without trust, society faces cycle after cycle of unrest, as those who demand change bump up against those who see no reason for it. Coming to an agreement, a consensus, is only the beginning. Setting up rules doesn’t seem to be the problem, right now.
Change is scary. However, the question is, how long are those who wish for change to occur going to withstand injustices while others resist? Trusting and believing that those who set up, lead and enforce and agree to those rules will actually follow through with their promises.
As Noah said,
“… the contract is only as strong as the people who abide by it.”
Do you trust yourself now?