Sunday, 7 October 2012

Who Do You Trust? Live Life~Love Life WK 41

Trust is fundamental to all relationships. As adults we understand what trust is and how important it is to be able to trust people. Trust is something we learn about through our life experiences. Small children do not know about trust but they do have instincts and it is these instincts which can help them in tricky situations. We have to teach children about trust hence, don’t take sweets from strangers. I remember being horrified to discover many years ago that my youngest had climbed into a stranger’s house through a window to open up the front door egged on by his eldest brother. I explained that it was good to help the neighbours however they should have popped home first and told me what was happening as we were literally round the corner!

The fact is that the number of children abducted hasn’t changed vastly over the years but the publicity has. Your child is more likely to be run over on today’s busy roads than abducted- which reminds me, my youngest shot out across a major road disregarding an approaching lorry because he predicted I was about to cross! He wasn't trustworthy at all when out and about having no road sense= difficult seeings he was at least 11 years old and beyond hand holding age!

The first lesson we usually learn is that we need to be trusted with the smaller things before we can be trusted with more important issues. During our working lives the trust we have gained is taken from one job to the next as we work our way up the ladder; unless we do something to lose that trust. The same applies to our personal lives therefore most of us know who to ask if we want something done because of past experience. It may be because that person has the right skills or possibly they are known for doing a good job. There are people who mean well but lack understanding or the ability to carry out a task making them unreliable. There is a little saying that often proves accurate: ‘if you want something done ask a busy person.’ I think what happens here is that busy people are frequently well organized and good at fitting things in! Reliability is a good off shoot from trust.

Trust can be relative to situations. People may be totally trustworthy at work but have an area in their lives where they have betrayed trust. Trust should not be confused with lying which is a deliberate act however the two often go together. Trust can be broken through misunderstanding especially since sites such as Facebook are treated as an extension of our lives. For example, working in chlldcare requires us to be vigilant regarding the rights of the child and whereas we are very careful to only use the work camera and not publize any pictures without written agreement, other people may happily put up family pictures on websites without another thought and can innocently upset people.

There are different things we trust to people. Money and possessions are obvious and yet how easy is it to treat other people’s things with disrespect? If someone lends you something do you return it quickly or hold on to it indefinitely? Failure to care for someone’s loaned possessions may result in a rift in friendship as does returning property in poor condition because you failed to look after it properly. This shows how trust ties in with respect. Respecting people as equals sounds obvious but it is an area that is open to abuse. If you are told something confidentially do you maintain confidentiality? Most of us will but how about gossip? Do you pass it on or keep what you hear to yourself? Gossip often causes damage to people and it is good to be known as a trustworthy person with good integrity.

The most important lesson about trust is that once it’s been broken it is incredibly difficult to re-instate. The second chance is a useful tool and an olive branch however a seed of doubt usually remains. One thing is definite, you will have to work really hard to recover a person’s trust and equally hard to forgive dependent on the damage incurred!

Jaz McKenzie

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