Go to dictionary.com and you’ll find any number of definitions for the word trust, from one’s “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability or surety of a person or thing,” as in confidence; “confident expectation of something,” as in hope; “confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received,” as in credit (to sell merchandise on trust, for example); “a person on whom – or thing on – which one relies,” as in God; and the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.”
That’s an awful lot to digest when considering the concept of trust, a concept that – to me – can be broken down in one simple statement ... trust – once gained – is so easy to lose; once lost, so hard to win back. And no matter the topic, whether it be politics, religion, war or even peace, trust is something that should never be underestimated or taken for granted.
Because let’s face it, on a day to day basis, we spend a lot of time and expend a lot of energy ... basically on trust. We trust one’s word at face value and put faith in that person’s integrity and honesty all the time; we (sometimes, at least) trust the government in the hope that it’s got our best intentions in mind; we trust companies and corporations across the country (and the globe) with our personal information when paying a bill or purchasing presents for loved ones during the holiday season; and many people trust in some incarnation of God (hell, it’s even on the dollar bill ... you know ... In God We Trust).
In other words, we place an extraordinary amount of trust in people or things without ever knowing if said people or things will come through in the long run. Because people, like it or not, will disappoint from time to time.
And some more often than others.
Then again, some people trust only certain news agencies with the truth ... and some put all their trust in the all-knowing, all-powerful tool that is the Internet. Both groups (and there’s a lot of crossover there, if you get my meaning), have forgotten, misplaced or ignored the most basic, fundamental truth when it comes to trust.
It must be earned ... and it can be lost.
Keep in mind that news and entertainment are two separate entities and do not go hand in hand, despite the Super Bowl of politics that was the recent election (complete with updated stats running along the bottom of your HD television set). And the Internet, although a useful tool, as previously stated, is just that ... a tool.
Even the best carpenter misses the mark once in awhile and smashes his hand – instead of the nail – with the hammer, if you get my drift.
As for trust, William Shakespeare said this, “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none,” all of which may be good advice – and noble at that – but, in this day and age, it’s more than a little hard to swallow. Not that I’m inclined to disagree, but there are a lot of people out there who live by the exact opposite: love only themselves, trust none and do wrong daily ... and that’s life, whether you think it’s fair or not.
Then there’s Stephen King (one of my favorite authors, as you may have noted), who stated, “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool,” words to live by if I ever heard them.
And of course there’s Harold MacMillan, who said, “A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts,” wise words from “Supermac,” himself.
Unfamiliar with Winston Churchill’s protege? Well, read up on your WWII history.
Just make sure your source is credible and don’t rely on blind faith, if you please.
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