[Life] How Important Is the Virtue of Trust?



Revisions:
3-3-11: Initial release.


Today at work an email was passed around the office. One of the guys that work in our department, his mother just passed away last night.

All I know is that he wasn’t at work yesterday, and he stayed by her side all day and night until she passed away. Thankfully, it was a peaceful passing.

As the day went on, I started thinking about life in general, and all the virtues that we take in life for granted.

With that said, you might be expected that I’m going to touch upon the subject of death, but I’m going to save that for another day.

More important topic that everyone can relate to is the virtue of trust. How important is trust to you? Did you know that you indirectly rely on the system of trust every single day? Think about it.

You trust your money is safe in the bank. You trust that your girlfriend/boyfriend loves you enough that they are not going to cheat on you, or even worse, kill you in your sleep. :( You trust yourself that you know what is right from wrong and you hope to bring good to this world.

However, how will you react if that trust agreement between you and a close person was broken? Can you ever get over that and learn to re-trust?

I was reading an article the other day where there are some “sick parents in this world that will open up a credit card in the name of their children, only to forge the name and then use the credit card as the parent. This drives up debt on the children, and ruin their good name even when the child is still a baby!

At this point, how can you even fathom trusting your own parents anymore? Sure, you probably love them (maybe very deep down inside),but how can you bounce back in life knowing that your parents ruined your good name?

Perhaps you know of someone who was molested by someone in the family or a close relative. For discussion sake let’s say Julie was “touched” by Uncle John. Julie can report it and maybe John will deny it. Who is telling the truth and who is telling lies? What will probably result is that Julie has been scarred, and that event will stay with her for the rest of her life.

Do not be surprised if Julie doesn’t trust John anymore, even in times when Julie is in a time of need and when John volunteers to help, Julie denies him.

It’s a natural thing that we as human beings are expected to do. Once hurt, it is very hard to build up that trust relationship.

There is a saying that goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice,shame on me.”

What that means is that you should learn from your mistakes and not allow people to take advantage of you repeatedly.

While its at school, work, home, or even in online social circles, there are varying levels of trust, right?

If you are working on a project, you expect your teammates to carry their weight and get their portion of the job done. If someone doesn’t do what they are expected to do, it can make the whole project lead to failure, or even worse, cause unnecessary tension within the group.

What could be more worse than this? Denial. The person who broke your trust denies that it is a bad thing, and tries to “spin” it to make the situation not as bad as it may seem.

“Oh I’m sorry, I lied to you. But can you forgive me? I won’t do it again.”. Yea, I’ve heard that one before. Old habits are hard to change, especially for some people.

For me, I was involved in an event several years ago where I know someone at work that I really respected, mainly because of what he did and what he knows. He had told me certain information on several projects that he had done by himself, or so he said.

Later on through a mutual friend, I figured out what he said and what he done was not as truthful as I was led to believed, as I found other people were engaged in a similar project.  In a sense, I was lied to and that really hurt not because I was lied to and the person asked for forgiveness, but it was a blow to my values.

So what did I do?  Reporting him to his supervisor or HR was too easy.  No, that wouldn’t do it justice. I did what would have been hard for any worker to do…I turned in my resignation and left that job.  I felt that I couldn’t operate to my fullest if I was in an environment that promoted unethical behavior.  Hell, it just didn’t jive with my values.

The bright side was I found a newer job within two weeks and was up and running in a different company that had a whole different outlook on life.  Now as I look back at my former job, I see that they are no longer around. Wow, I wonder if something bad happened there….I guess I will never know.

As I continue my digital journey online, I have met a lot of different people, through the blog, youtube, and elsewhere.  Some of these guys are really good people, and then there are some that appear good on the outside, only to be scum on the inside.  Some of them have broken my trust, and let’s just say that I am no longer talking to them for what will be forever.  It sounds unbelievable, but life was better once I absorbed myself with a group of individuals that I knew I could trust, and they could trust on me to do whatever to get the job done.

How about you? Got a story to share about trust, or broken trust? Tell us about it!

Posted on March 3, 2011, in Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I dont trust people easily . Aand to most of the people on my surrounding’s even some class mates . i just tell them face of , ” i cant trust you on that.” or ” we arent that good of friends yet so, i will pass on.” things like that , i even ended up in a very sticky situation, a youngster new on job really looked upto me.. soon he started asking me to come with him for lunches etc etc, and gave me treats very often, on the third week i just told him .” dude i cant be meeting and hanging out with u like this. we arent friends, i am ur colleague. i dont befriends ppl . i am just being nice to you cause ur new. ” saying that screwed my life for 1 year, he wud always try to sabotage my work we never spoke except 1 or 2wice a month. and going to work became an extreme tension. That was the first time i faced prob because of saying something like it was, and after that i have learned to keep my mouth shut and just simply avoid ppl that try to gain trust. i am not comfortable with it, and i like to keep my best friends/amigoes/ only trusted guys to a min, there are about 5 . and they are my childhood friends. after them in the next 15 years of staying away from them i made only 1 best (new ) friend. Obviously i lack social skills, but i am very much far away from getting betrayed. All my life i spoke and trusted just one girl, and …..in the end, she told me face off, that she cant keep up with the guilt of fooling me anymore, and her good bye was by saying i am a sweet boy, WTF !#@!? .i remember reading in english class, way back in 3rd grade , Never trust a LAdy. it was a great book, i dont remember the contents but just the title. Oh BTw sometimes ppl lie cause they are under pressure of dissappointing the person. it may never actually benefit them but they say it because they are the people that are not confident about how well the bond will be between the 2. in other words i wud lie a lot while being a kid, so that my parents wud not be disapointed… and every night before i sleep, i wud tell mom that i lied to her, because i cudnt keep it a secret. i still feel that pressure whn i am with the good friends, not best- just good ones i know, and i tend to lie to them eg: the most recent one
    1. one friend put all the effort of bringing in job postings from so and so place and asked me to apply for it, for my benefit. i did not apply cause i wasnt in the mood.. and next day whn he asked with all excitement i lied to him yes i apllied.
    with you versatile, one wud get those kinda pressure, its because you have a high IQ!! and whn ur interested in something that means it is something whichs knowledge u are looking forward to, so lets say..
    your saying.. mustang did u try it out , what happened?
    ( the topic being something related to an experiment or something new)
    and i have not even started it, maybe i got lame excuse maybe genuine excuse but silly one.. maybe no excuse just lazying around… in the end my reply wud be..
    yes i tried, but it didnt work i got some error!.

    can u feel it? its because the situation puts u in a pressure u dont want the person to be disappointed in u. With guys like you, who dont need almost any help, and ppl wud wanna stick with you, it shud be the most common thing. To me its clear as water,The only reason ppl wud wanna lie to u wud be not for any gains , but for not making u disappointed , or because they are not meeting ur standards, like in the case of ur ex collegue. He must have known ur qualities and so said it so that he cud be on par with u. and also ur youtube or blog friends.. they wudnt be gaining anything by lying to u, but hoping that they arent disappointing u. But infact it goes the opposite way, cause u came to know about it, or u wud be able to catch them the moment they lie.
    I can do that, i can within secs know if the person infront of me is lying or not, but i let them lie anyways. because i dont trust them.

  2. I enjoyed your piece. My comment is focused on the title. I do not believe that trust is a virtue. However, I do believe that trustworthiness is a virtue. In your example, I would not find Julie to be lacking virtue because of lack of trust for her uncle. However, her uncle (if guilty) would be lacking virtue because of not being worthy of trust.

    One who has been wounded should never feel less than because of the inability to trust again. It is only when that wounding has caused them to in turn be untrustworthy…then their virtue is affected.

  3. you might be interested: from the Analects (my freehand translation): Confucius’s disciple Tze-Kung asked the essentials of government. Confucius said, Make sure everybody has enough to eat, make sure the army is strong, and make sure the people trust the government. Tze-Kung asked, If you have to drop one of these, which of the three is the first one to drop? Confucius said, Drop the army. Tze-Kung asked, If you have to drop one of these, which of these is the first one to drop? Confucius said, Drop the food. Everybody has to die, but without trust, society cannot stand.

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