Today’s topic is a little introspective, more so because while I have considered it subconsciously, I’ve haven’t given it conscious thought, let alone indulged in introspection.
So, my daily ritual involves listening to my varied podcasts (depending on the mood du jour) as I get ready to start my day. Recently, a Freakonomics podcast titled “Trust Me”, caught my eye. I have to say the geek in me really loves how they select a topic that we may not have given more than a passing thought to and then dissect it to where you wonder how you could have even missed it until they brought it to your attention.
TRUST is one such topic I’ve considered onand off based on the people that have touched my life. “Yes, I would totally trust this person.” “Lesson learned. Definitely not telling her anything going forward.” But I hadn’t really looked at trust as an overarching quality or virtue…until this podcast. So I asked myself the question that was asked on the podcast. “Do I trust people?” Oddly, I realized that I do. As I’ve gotten older and life experiences have built up, I’ve come to realize that I cannot trust every person that comes into my life. But as a practice, I still trust people and the general mankind. I’m not gullible or naive, but I still like to believe there is good in all people and I would like to extend that benefit of doubt.
This podcast talked about how all of this trust originates from the existence of a social network. The size of our social network and the trust within it is driven by the overall trust in the country of our upbringing, our life experiences and how many people have touched our lives and retained our trust despite trying circumstances. That explains my faith in humanity. 🙂 I was raised by parents andgrandparents who believed in the innate goodness in people. I’ve always had a small circle of friends but they have been ones I can trust with anything. And lastly, I’ve been fortunate to work with people that also have a strong sense of honesty and integrity. There are bad apples, but those are few and far in between. They have challenged my faith but haven’t succeeded in destroying it.
Which brings me back to the fact of why do I trust people and what is my threshold for lack of. I value honesty. I value integrity. Deeply. Deception or dishonesty have a scale for me however. If you ate the chocolate in the refrigerator and didn’t fess up to it, I can live with that. If the deception however touches the core values of the relationship, I shut down and back out fast. I may or may not voice my withdrawal or the reasons for it, depending on who it was and what transpired. Either way, I may eventually forgive but I will never forget and I will never open myself up for a repeat. Yes, harsh. I’m told it’s not the best trait because it ends up alienating people who can be of assistance in ways that don’t require their trust. My belief is simple – I cannot maintain transactional relationships. If I cannot trust you or I have to watch myself around you, I’d rather not deal with you. The ones that have earned my trust however have also earned my lifelong, undying loyalty. The rest, I don’t miss them at all.
When you completely trust another person, you will end up with one of two outcomes – a friend for life or a lesson for life. Both, regardless of the outcome, are equally valuable.