Trust is fragile. You may have heard the old anecdote that trust is like paper: once it's crushed or ripped, it can never go back to the way it was before. Unless you're into material science, and then you can probably re-pulp the paper and remake it. But I digress.
Looking back at my own life, trust is something that I don't have a lot of, whether it's myself, other people, or just the trust that things will or won't happen. From an event perspective this all seems fair: having adopted a "whatever happens, happens," attitude, trust doesn't have a place in my mind. It's almost like I don't have to trust things will happen because I don't expect anything to happen. Most recently, as I was driving to work in the droll of morning traffic, I noticed that I was running late (which is a reoccurring event, but stick with me here). I hoped that traffic would clear up or people would drive, y'know, at least at speed limit, but definitely didn't trust that that would happen. There was no distrust, either. It was just a "well, it would be nice if that happened" moment.
But that all changes when you're dealing with other people, doesn't it? My guess is that if you were to ask around your friends, family, and peers about what they thought about trust, many would express that it is best to trust few people and, most importantly, to learn to trust yourself. There's value in those words. People are people, and people can betray trust just as easily as they attained it.
Think of all the people you consider closest to you. Think of all the things you have done with them, all the things you have told them in confidentiality, and anything else you share with them. Although you wouldn't want it nor expect it, you would have to admit that there is just a tiny chance, no matter how small, that all that could be betrayed in the blink of an eye. Yet you are able to tell secrets because you are confident in the trust you've placed in them.
Trust, however, is fragile.
Fragility is a strange thing. In most cases where fragility applies (in the case of material goods), what you seek is almost always desirable enough that you are willing to risk the damage that could be done. Yet, once you have it, all you do is put it on display. "Don't touch it, it might break," becomes part of your regular vocabulary. Like an ornate vase, we sometimes put trust on a pedestal only to never touch it because of its supposed fragility. Why?
Absolute trust doesn't happen when you tiptoe around it in fear that it might crack and fall to pieces. No, absolute trust is being able to confidently take it into stride, to run with it, and admire it. Don't think the trust you place in others is that fragile, because it speaks just as much about you as it does the other person. If you have to tiptoe around someone you "trust", do you actually trust them? Or are you keeping a watchful eye on it as it rests uneasily on a shelf, worried that even the slightest gust of wind might knock it over? Is that trust?
Don't fool yourself into thinking that trust is something that is all love and pixie dust. After all, you take the good with the bad. Just because you trust someone does not negate every negative thing that could happen with them. If your "trust" in something is as fragile as paper or a treasured vase, maybe it's time to reconsider it? You don't have to trust someone, just like you don't have to distrust them either.
When you are ready to trust, though, maybe pick something a little sturdier. Here are some examples:
- Trust is like a LEGO structure. It may break into pieces, but you can always put it back together with some effort. It may not look like what it did before, but it is all there. Just because it looks different doesn't mean it's broken.
- Trust is like a scarf knitted by an amateur. There may be kinks and dings in there from missing loops or whatever they're called, but I'll fight you if you don't still call it a scarf nonetheless.
- Trust is like paper, and you are a material scientist. Sometimes, it is ripped or crushed. But you, being the intelligent being you are, can break it down into its components and rebuild or remake it.
Make your own! The point is, trust is not irreparable—don't be so dramatic. The question is, do you have the confidence and ability to rebuild it?