A few years ago, a friend and I did the trust fall test with each other, the cliche symbol of true friendship. The problem is, I’m such a frail and skinny guy that I nearly dropped her onto the hard tile of my kitchen floor. It ended a lot better than it could have. Too bad this isn’t the sort of trust I’m talking about.
When it comes to trust, it is my honest opinion that I’ve never been harmed due to placing trust in others. Sure, there may have been times where my trust was taken for granted and I was wrong, but was I ever harmed? Probably not.
I actually grew up with a family that was very untrusting. They were constantly suspicious of other people’s intentions and made it a point to try to instill fear of others in me. It never worked.
Despite their best efforts, I became a person who trusts the strangers, the forgotten individuals of the world.
I think I’m a little too trusting at times, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because it seems like no one in the world trusts anyone else. It’s like honesty, not enough people are honest these days.
Why do we feel like we have to question every situation and never give people the benefit of the doubt? All my life as I was growing up, I hear the same thing when it comes to helping the homeless. “All they want is money for drugs, alcohol, etc.”
When I see someone out in the streets, it doesn’t take battered clothes, skin clearly dirty from the elements, and facial hair for me to finally give them something. No, I give the person who asks me for change the benefit of the doubt no matter how cleanly dressed they are.
I see the happiness in their eyes and their face lighting up when I smile at them and give them a helping hand. I don’t trust because I want to feel good about myself, hell, I don’t even mention 90% of the things I do to anyone (until this post.) I trust because there is no harm in it most of the time. You could only be improving someone’s life. Maybe you’re wrong a few times, so what? Doesn’t mean you can’t trust.
My family’s trust issues
The worst offending case of someone in my family not trusting happened a little over half a year ago before I moved to Arizona. My grandpa and I were at a McDonalds drive-through waiting to order some food. A clearly homeless man who seemed sincere enough came to our window so I rolled it down. He asked first in English if I could buy him a Big Mac because he was starving. My grandpa kept shaking his head, refusing to help him.
The man tried to beg us for food in Vietnamese this time and again my grandpa says no. At this point, I am furious. Why are you not helping this man? He is clearly starving and wants FOOD. He does not want your money “for drugs and alcohol.”
I looked at the man, smiled and told him to wait around the corner. I bought him two Big Macs and his eyes lit up. He had food to eat that night.
Afterwards, I asked my grandpa why he was not willing to help this man. His response? “All he wanted was drugs.” Dumbfounded, I repeated that the man asked for food.
“I didn’t understand what he was saying.” The man spoke in clear Vietnamese. My grandpa definitely understood or perhaps his mind filtered out the words because all he saw was a homeless man. A homeless man who in his mind, just wants money to fuel some disgusting habit.
If only the world trusted more, perhaps everyone would be happier and less guarded. They wouldn’t see through some negative perception filter. Imagine how comfortable the world would feel. Is there any harm that is coming to you from trusting a bit more? I’ve lived a great life and it is only getting better, all while I live life trusting the world. Why not believe in people and what they say?
Of course, this doesn’t mean be a fool
Obviously, you don’t want to be a fool and trust literally everything that falls out of someone’s mouth, but if you can learn to trust just a little bit at a time then it just makes the world that much better.
Make it a point to become more trusting. Don’t be a fool, but don’t be too guarded. The world has enough people who are completely distrusting of others’ intentions, so let’s brighten it up a bit and show people that just because you do not know them on a first name basis does not mean everything about them should be doubted.
Question: So what do you have to lose by becoming more trusting of others?
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