“Trust each other again and again.  When the trust level gets high enough, people transcend apparent limits, discovering new and awesome abilities of which they were previously unaware.” – David Armistead


In a press briefing recently at Malacañang, President Rodrigo R. Duterte admitted that he cannot trust the Vice President Leni Robredo.  “The problem is,” he told the press, “I cannot trust her not only because she is with the opposition.  I do not trust her because I do not know her.”

Trust – that’s the key word.  “Trusting is hard,” Maria V. Snuyder wrote in Poison Study. “Knowing who to trust, even harder.”

It reminds me of an anecdote told by Ernst Lange.  It goes this way:

Two four-year-old boys were playing “follow the leader” on top of an old tottering city wall, fully 18 feet above the ground.

Each dared the other to harder and harder challenges.  They tiptoed across very narrow spots to prove that they would not get giddy or dizzy.  They spat down in contempt from the heights.  Then they came to where the wall had crumbled completely.  As they stood there looking down, the part behind them broke off.  So, how they were stranded on a little island 18 feet above the ground.

The two had called for help.  A man came up, stood at the foot of the wall, stretched out his arms and yelled to them, “Jump down.  I’ll catch you.”

Well, what to do?  The two young boys were so alike, as almost to be twins, but each reacted to the invitation in opposite ways.  

One jumped off the edge of the wall without hesitation.  The other sank to his knees, cried in panic and waited for the fireman to come with their long ladders.

The question now is: why did one boy have the courage to jump and the other not?  The answer is easy: the man down below was the first boy’s father.

That what trust is all about.  But most people still have a hard time figuring out what trust really means. “Trust is like blood pressure,” says Frank Sonnenberg, author of Follow Your Conscience.  “It’s silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly.”

Trust usually involves two persons.  As Charles H. Green explained in his book, The Trusted Advisor, “It takes two to do the trust tango – the one who risks (the trustor) and the one who is trustworthy (the trustee); each must play their role.”

Trust encompasses various elements.  “Trust is involved in all the basic elements of a healthy relationship: namely, love (respect and consideration for another person), communication, commitment and honesty,” states American life coach and pastor Harold Duarte-Bernhardt.  

Finding someone to trust is not an easy task.  “Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter,” says Lemony Snicket, the pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler.

But there are people whom you can really trust.  And they are usually your friends.  After all, respect and trust are the two things friendship is built upon.  “Both elements have to be there,” explains Steig Larrson, the author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  “And it has to be mutual.  You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.”

In The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, there was this conversation between Frodo, Sam and Merry about giving a trust to someone.  Frodo told Sam, “But it does not seem that I can trust anyone.”  

Sam looked at Frodo unhappily.  “It all depends on what you want,” put in Merry.  “You can trust us to stick with you through thick and thin – to the bitter end.  And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you keep it yourself.  But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word.  We are your friends, Frodo.”

Find that someone you can trust.  “Trust is a skill learned over time so that, like a well-trained athlete, one makes the right moves, usually without much reflection,” contends American Professor Robert C. Solomon.  Irish poet and singer Thomas Moore has the same contention: “We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible.  To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”

How we wish the world is perfect and every person we meet can be trusted.  “If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully,” says Oscar-winning Goldie Hawn. “The joy of freedom it brings become more pleasurable than the experience itself.”

But life isn’t fair.  There are always people you cannot trust at all.  This is especially true when it comes to love.  But when a person is in love, he or she gambles not knowing whether he or she would win in the end.

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime,” says bestselling American writer Sherrilyn Kenyon.  “It’s what unite us.  The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens.  Don’t let them take that from you.”

As David Levithan puts it in his book, The Lover’s Dictionary: “‘It was a mistake,’ you said.  But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting (loving) you.”

“Never trust anyone, especially the people you admire,” Carlos Ruiz Safon reminds in The Shadow of the Wind.  “Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.”

Remember that!