An Alert From a Random Stranger

Why is it that we almost always mistrust our fellow human beings? Isn’t trust supposed to be central to human relations of all kinds?

Here’s what happened last week.

I received a random email from an unknown person who claimed that my photographs were being used by others in social media without giving the due credit. The man, as I deciphered his gender based on the thumbnail picture in the email, also advised I start watermarking my photographs. My immediate reaction was suspicion as thoughts of phishing, social engineering, data theft, and the like hovered over my head.

After a while, I decided to write back asking how he knew those photographs were mine. He responded back stating that he had visited my blog and read my posts. Based on that, he saw someone posting photographs clicked by me as their own in Facebook. He also provided the Facebook link. And, yes, the photograph in question was indeed mine. This kind gentleman even went out of his way and confronted the plagiarist by writing a comment. The plagiarist obviously denied the same.

That a random unknown person bothered so much is a great story to tell. More so in today’s world where nobody cares or even has the time. Made me wonder if I would have done the same.

We are almost always suspicious about people’s intentions. We always question the motive of someone doing some random good to us. We find it difficult to accept that someone can do a good just like that. This becomes even more profound with strangers and our immediate reaction is mistrust. Trust is one of the cornerstones of human connections, governing all interactions we have with each other. Yet, mistrust rules the world.

Our basic personalities may also have a role to play in how much we trust or mistrust. Some people can trust others easily while some are more cynical. By and large, I belong to the former category. While that has landed me in many a trouble, I do have several wonderful trust stories to tell. There’s no denying of the terrible things that happen around us, which only breed mistrust. As a result, instinctively we may have become more suspicious than ever. Is that a very good thing to happen to human kind? I can’t tell. Maybe not. Maybe we need to have the right balance. My experience says – when in doubt, trust your gut.

Well, trust needs to be earned and the least we can do is be trustworthy. Afterall, we can control our own selves, our own actions, and our own thoughts. We have no control over what others think, say, or do.

And, follow Shakespeare’s advice – Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

29 thoughts on “An Alert From a Random Stranger”

  1. Nice story. Did the pics get removed in the end? Want to post the link and we can love bomb them with requests? I can offer to buy them; that might shame them into action! 😉

    Anyway, yes; the main point is that trust is earned, but in order to gain that trust, we usually have to be the first to make that gesture, and place our trust in the other person. A leap of faith. Which is what you did.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha….let the plagiarist be gratified with their little moment of social media triumph. I am just happy by the gesture of the kind gentleman. And, yes the leap of faith I took after sometime of hesitation made for this great story. Trusting your gut, as I mentioned, is the mantra. Most of the time, it really does work.
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading this story and also leaving behind your thoughts. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good for you. Yes, trust can be hard to find, given many of our experiences and so it always feels good when one does find it. Good that you were alerted. And many people use others’ pictures without permission, juts that it’s not always possible to find that out. So you are lucky, at least in this one instance. Therefore, try watermarking. It isn’t very difficult but an added work. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All my photos are clicked with mobile, as you would know. So they aren’t of very good quality. Therefore, I didn’t bother much. People may steal them and use in their social media handles just for some instant gratification, which is funny. But I was really touched by this gentleman’s kind gesture. 🙂
      And thank you for visiting my blog. It’s been a long time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s wasn’t me 😃
    Well, on a serious note, I agree! Trust is something that we r tending to forget, given the volumns of treachery, theft ( not only materialistic, even intellectual), poaching that are so random in society now a days!More so impactful, ‘coz of repeated beaming of negative narratives on the tube! We tend to ignore the fact that, majority of us do not indulge in such malpractices!
    Well written Neel, it is sort of a breeze of fresh clean air in the atmosphere of pollution!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha…how can you! You’re always the victim 😀
      The fact that most of us aren’t the ones to indulge in such malpractices gets easily forgotten. And hence, the suspicion. But there are always good people, like our gentleman. But I am not certain I would have taken this trouble. So a lesson there too – do good whenever you can 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s an interesting incidence, Neelanjana. I for one would be immediately suspicious about any such representation. And only because I have trusted crafty people and got served just desserts for my trusting nature several times in the past (not on any such count as this, but in other things in life). May be, that is not the right attitude to mistrust the world for a few bad apples. I agree with your analysis and summation; let’s continue being true to ourselves, the universe is watching over us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand what you mean. I’ve had my share too of getting into such situations. All because my natural inclination, which is that of everyone being good unless proven otherwise. But as i mentioned I have started relying on my instinct and that really works for me. Well, most of the times if not always.
      Not sure if you read a similar story I had posted long back about trusting a stranger during a travel.
      Providing the link, in case you didn’t.
      https://neelstoria.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/the-boy-in-the-yellow-shirt-so-many-more/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My sincere apologies for such a late response. Thanks for the link – I had read the story earlier, but found it refreshing to read it again in the present context. It reminds me of some occasions when I have felt bad as an afterthought after realising the kind intent of a fellow human. And such remembrances are those which make me stop and reevaluate a person when faced with a similar situation later on.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It is really great that a good Samaritan helped you. It is natural for us to suspect unsolicited help. I would certainly like to follow Shakespeare’s advice ‘ Love all, Trust few, do no wrong to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As per neuroscience, the human brain is trained to detect threats. So it is a basic human trait and the reason is explained by the theory of Charles Darwin. I guess we definitely should weigh all options before discounting a threat. I’m glad someone came forward to help you. Did you settle the score with the person who used your pictures, Neel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reflexive fight or flight. I didn’t take up the matter with the plagiarist, Arvind. Anyway, all my pics are mobile pics so he cannot do much other than a little glory on social media. So, let it be.

      Like

  7. Such a heartwarming gesture by the gentleman! I have had a similar experience with my pictures being plagiarised by a commercial organisation for publicising their treks. I started watermarking pictures on my blog after that incident.
    I just wish that as a society, we hadn’t come to a point where every helpful gesture is first eyed with suspicion but such are the acts we come across everyday, that we cannot help that being our first reaction.
    Nevertheless, here’s wishing for a world with more such deeds 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should start watermarking maybe. Since my photos are mostly clicked through phone, I never bothered as quality wouldn’t be great. And, I so agree with you about how mistrust is spread across society , which is again something we cannot quite afford to overlook.

      And, apologies for this late response. I was away from WP for a month.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. To question the intentions of others is perfectly healthy in this day and age, we have to protect ourselves from those out to take advantage – trust has to be earned over time and through actions not just words.

    I think our gut instinct usually helps as well – you often just know when something doesn’t feel/sound right. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, our instincts always guides us in the right direction. Just that we need to be able to read those signals, which isn’t that difficult a thing. Thank you, Cherryl, for reading this post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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