One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.

~ Colonel Harland Sanders - KFC founder ~

Take It On Trust

July 13th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 4 secs

You can't let the past stop you from trusting in new ways.

You can’t let the past stop you from trusting in new ways.

How many times have you heard people say they don’t trust anyone? Personally, I don’t believe them.

How can anyone live without trusting someone in some shape or form? Unless you raise yourself entirely, grow all of your own food, and live alone on a desert island you’ve got to trust someone enough to take advantage of their abilities.

Think of work for instance. You might not trust the boss for a moment, or maybe that shifty co-worker who seems out to get you at every turn. Yet you still front up expecting that, so long as you do, they’re going to keep paying you.

Then there’s that small matter of getting into a car and hurtling along the highway at 100 km per hour (60 miles an hour). The fact that the only thing separating us from certain death in the face of oncoming cars, travelling at much the same speed, is a painted line on the road. Yet that barely enters our head. We feel assured that the vast majority of total strangers don’t want to meet us by accident.

Likewise, you don’t expect anything particularly nasty inside the food items you buy at your local shop or supermarket. Apart from the sugar, salt, additives, and fats, you implicitly believe that they only want your money, not your last choking gasp.

Whether we are boarding a bus, plane, train, boat, or clambering onto a tandem bicycle, the belief that we can cooperate together to get somewhere is always there. Which is a practical reminder: reliance happens at many levels.

Aside from matters of physical security, we also express reasonable wariness about all things financial (because from the moment you earn your first pay, the pecuniary sharks start circling). As we all keep learning, whenever there is potential to exploit, the prospect of people taking financial advantage rises accordingly.

Then there’s that matter of emotional security. How vulnerable you make yourself to others is always a matter of trust, based on your past experiences.  Get hurt enough and you naturally want to do the snail thing and pull your head in.

Still, I believe life is better when we refuse to live as simply as amoebas. Sometimes, it’s wiser to take another risk and decide with fresh insights than to clam up (because there’s another financial decision imminent or you are struggling to emotionally trust).

Life is inherently risky. People turn on you. Big ideas fall flat. Friends can be fickle, and salesmen with laughter lines around their pockets really do want to fleece you.

But the worst of life should not define you. Better instead to choose to risk and live according to a greater faith. Having values that lift the bar higher than fear mean life ceases to be fear-driven, promoting security, confidence, and a generous slice of empowerment. Yet, for that to happen you can only take it on trust.

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