Who should you trust?

by Henrylito D. Tacio

FIVE years ago, one of my friends tied the nuptial knot with his girlfriend.  The two met during a party.  During the wedding, they were the envy of everyone since both came from a good family.  Both also were employed in one of the best companies in the city.  A marriage made in heaven, someone said.

But last year, we were surprised when they got separated.  “What went wrong?” we inquired.  It so happened that she caught him having an affair with another woman.  They tried to save their marriage but the trust was no longer there. She could not think of any reason why he fooled her.

Thomas J. Watson once said: “The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.” Booker T. Washington knew this by heart.  “Few things,” he said, “help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.”

Address to women, Helen Rowland warns: “Never trust a husband too far, nor a bachelor too near.” Frank Krane also reminded: “You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”

A lot of marriages gone sour because trust is no longer there.  This must be the reason why Nanette Newman once said: “A good marriage is at least 80 percent good luck in finding the right person at the right time. The rest is trust.”  Henry L. Mencken has another idea: “If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish.”

So, what is trust, anyway? Douglas Murray McGregor defines it this way: “I know that you will not – deliberately or accidentally, consciously or unconsciously – take unfair advantage of me. I can put my situation at the moment, my status and self-esteem in this group, our relationship, my job, my career, even my life, in your hands with complete confidence.”

Famous people from all over the world have shared their thoughts about trust.  The late American president John F. Kennedy wrote: “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

Margaret Mead believes: “We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of their country.”  Abraham Lincoln contends: “The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writes: “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”  Cicero quips: “Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him.”  Indira Gandhi has the same view: “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes advices: “Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.”  Agatha Christie seems to agree: “Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody.”

Singer Barbra Streisand declares: “A human being is only interesting if he’s in contact with himself. I learned you have to trust yourself, be what you are, and do what you ought to do the way you should do it. You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it.”

A Jewish proverb warns: “Never trust the man who tells you all his troubles but keeps from you all his joys.”  Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes urges: “A wise man does not rust all his eggs to one basket.”

The opposite of trust is of course distrust.  But “never suspect people,” one sage points out.  He explained: “It’s better to be deceived or mistaken, which is only human, after all, than to be suspicious, which is common.”

This story may prove useful. During World War II, an American marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island.  The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades.

Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction.  Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly, he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed.

As he waited, he prayed silently, “Lord, if it be your will, please protect me.  Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen.”

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close.  “Well, I guess the Lord isn’t going to help me out of this one,” he thought.  Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave.

As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave. “Hah,” he told himself. “What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor.”

As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand.

To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on.  Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while.

“Lord, forgive me,” prayed the young man. “I had forgotten that in you a spider’s web is stronger than a brick wall.”

The Holy Bible tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all things acknowledge him, and he shall direct your way” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Mary F. Butts reminds: “Build a little fence of trust around today. Fill the space with loving deeds, and therein stay. Look not through the sheltering bars upon tomorrow; God will help thee bear what comes of joy and sorrow.”  — ###

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