Tuesday, February 10, 2015

TRUST

Trust.  It is a big word for having so few letters in it.  Trust has got to be one of the toughest things to earn.  Once you have earned someone's trust, it is even harder to keep that trust that you have earned.  Yes, trust has to be earned.  It is not one of those things that are easily given.  You have to continually prove that you have earned that trust over and over and over and sometimes, you slip and you lose that trust that you worked so hard to get.  All it takes is one time, one little slip and that trust can be gone forever as you start to try to earn that trust over again.  Sometimes that will be an impossible task to achieve.

Trust is not only difficult to earn, it is just as difficult to give.  Seldom is the trust given a full trust, a trust that is unquestionable.  A trust that if the person you trust so completely says something, there never comes a doubt in your mind that it is completely true.  A trust like that doesn't come along very often and when it does, it is sometimes the easiest trust to be broken.  It is extremely fragile and must be handled with care.  I think that most people give that kind of trust to one, possibly two people if you are lucky.

Most times that kind of trust is never realized whether it has been an earned trust or a given trust.  The majority of us go through life never having that kind of relationship with another person where there is no question as to the motive of the other person.  We are humans.  It is built into us to question everything.  It is also built into us to break that trust once in a while, either accidentally or because we think the outcome will be better than saying what is really on our minds.

I don't even trust myself.  I don't trust myself with my words or my feelings.  I don't trust myself with my actions and as we all know actions speak even louder than words.  So often I do not realize that the actions I am taking are the kind that can hurt someone who had given you all that trust in their soul.  Most times, they won't tell you about it and just let it go, but while letting your actions go, they also let a little of that trust that they had in you slip away.

I want to be trusted.  Everyone wants to be trusted.  Fact is though, in our flawed human nature, we are all, at least a little bit, untrustworthy.  I don't like that feeling.  I don't like the fact that I can look at people around me and know that even though they say they trust you, there is at least that little bit of thinking that causes a little mistrust to be placed upon you.  On the other side, everyone wants to know there is that one person that we can totally trust while in reality, even though we go through the actions of trusting someone and trying to really put all that trust into them, chances are they will slip up and cause you to question that trust.

I am fifty eight years old now.  I was brought up to tell the truth even though I did not many times during that growing up period.  As each year goes by I find fewer and fewer people to trust, and less people that I can look at and know that they trust me.  It is just mathematics at this point.  The more opportunities you have to be totally honest and tell the complete truth, the more likely you are to hedge on that truth, thereby losing trust from people who used to give it to you unquestionably.

When you are young, it is easy to trust without question.  It is especially easy to trust without question those who you know you should trust.  When my nephew Damian was extremely young, we would babysit him once in a while or he would just come over to spend the night.  Now, I love Damian as much as an uncle can.  He was a great kid and has grown to be a very good man.  When he would be over at the house he use to want to play "Go Fish" with Uncle Bill.  The thing was though, that Damian's hands were much to small to hold the cards dealt him.  We would be sitting on the living room floor across the coffee table from each other and Damian would spread his cards on the floor under the table so he could see all that he had in his hand.  Here's the thing though.  When Damian would look down at his cards under the table, it was extremely easy for Uncle Bill take a peak under the table at the same time.  It would come my turn and I would say to Damian, "you got ummmm... let's see ... got any threes?"  Damian would sigh and say"yeeessss..." and hand them over to me.  You see, Damian trusted his Uncle Bill totally yet he could not beat Uncle Bill in a game of Go Fish.  I had a fabulous winning streak going for a few years over Damian.

Now I know that it wasn't a very nice thing to do, or even the right thing to do, but I also know that it was so much fun in a strange sort of way.  Does that make me an evil uncle?  Possibly.  But over the years as Damian grew up I came to earn a certain amount of trust from him.  I doubt if he trusts me totally today because he is human but I feel like he trusts me enough to keep a good relationship going with him and his family.  For the record, Damian was not the only niece or nephew that got the Uncle Bill treatment when they were little.  All of them did and a lot of them still do, but the thing now is that when I joke with them or prank them, they understand it is out of love that I make their lives miserable for a few minutes, not out of any motive that would hurt them intentionally.

Intentionally.  As I saw that word pop up on my screen, it came to me that how intentional the motive behind breaking someone's trust could be the key to what I am trying to get at.  This goes way beyond the kind of trust in families and spreads out to the kind of trust that friends may have in you or you in them.  There are time when, like me and nieces and nephews, it is a harmless sort of thing that may temporarily break that trust but is easily repaired because of the realization that it was not done with a motive that would cause harm or hurt that would stick with a person for a very long time.

I am guilty.  I am guilty of breaking trust that has been given me or I once earned and have watched that trust fade away.  I have also been the victim of such actions that have hurt me and harmed me and I have swore I would never trust that person again because of their motive in causing me that harm.

I want to be trusted.  I want to have people in my life I can trust.  I realize that all of us need to keep our guard up and not be foolish with our trust, but there are so many times that after someone has broken that trust they will try harder to prove themselves worthy of it once again and should be given another chance.  And when I do things that harm and hurt, I would like to think that I would be given another chance to prove myself worthy of trust that I had lost.

Trust is tricky.  Trust takes a lot of work.  Trust can also be a wonderful thing to have because total trust is so rare.

My apologies to anyone who I have broken their trust of me and to anyone I have caused harm or hurt to.  I am just a human, just like you.

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