No. 1263



It takes many things to from a great relationship -- whether in a marriage, business, organization, or with a friend -- but one of the most important things is a simple word called trust.
The word trust means, “Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of someone or something.” If we want to be successful in any endeavor, building a lifetime of trust is the best way on earth to do it. When someone says “I respect you”, they are also saying they trust you, and there is no greater compliment they can pay us than this. And further, trust is not something other people can give us; it is something that must be earned. Like many things of value, it takes a long time to build trust, and it can be destroyed almost in the blink of an eye.
Since trust is so valuable, it is well worth the time and effort it takes to earn it. The very best way to earn trust is to make sure our words and our actions always match and are consistent with our character and reputation. Here is a good example of what I am saying. Several years ago I attended church with a lady here in our community. Over a period of time, on several occasions, she was caught taking money that did not belong to her. This was not a lot of money, but it was stealing nonetheless. This caused me to always consider her as someone who had “sticky fingers.”
Well, as fate would have it, several years later we started attending another church together, and now when I see her the first thing that pops in my mind is “sticky fingers.” Obviously I would not trust her with handling other people’s money, or anything else of value for that matter, which is unfair to her because she may have changed. But too late, like closing the barn door after the horse had already gotten out, that is how the mind works.
Yes, trust is a very important thing because if we are not trustworthy it will cost us for the rest of our lives. But here is the good news, and something that we can learn and be an asset to us for as long as we live.
Because of human nature, we all make bad decisions or have poor judgment from time to time. What we need is a mental sign that says “STOP,” so we can remember the commitment we have made to ourselves to never violate someone’s trust again. In short, we need a “trustworthy” account that will benefit us, much like opening an interest-bearing savings account at a bank. Each time we remember this commitment, it is like making a deposit in our bank account. Over time, if we continue to do this, it will pay positive dividends for the rest of our lives. We are creatures of habit, and experts tell us that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. In time we will have formed a new habit that makes the impulse so strong that keeping trust will be our first priority.
The great thing about this plan is that being a person who is “trustworthy” will not only make us feel better about ourselves, but it will be evident to other people in our community that we are a person of high morals and character. This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the benefits that will continue to be ours.
In America today we need men and women of character more than ever before, and this will also impact our children and grandchildren as they have something and someone to look up to. Yes, trust is a very important thing, and being “trustworthy” makes life worthwhile and much more rewarding. This is another case of where something so very simple can make all the difference in the world.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)