Ernest Hemingway, one of my favorite authors ever, once said, "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." That's probably true. I'd like to believe Ernest but, as I said earlier, I have trust issues. So I'm sitting on the fence with this one, at least for the time being. As hard as it is to face, and to believe, vulnerability is one of our greatest strengths...both in love and in life. Humans, and many frogs, like to put walls up around themselves thinking that those walls will insulate them from the big bad world outside. But, really, all they do is keep out the experiences we call life. We miss out on so much when we become isolated. Our big scary fears make us cynical and suspicious. The world we live in today doesn't lend itself to one of trust, either. Identity theft, hacking of our personal information, and everyone posting everything about themselves and the people they know on social media...well, need I say more?
Humans, I find, like to be in control of everything. And good luck with that. The only thing that anyone can really control is themselves. The fear of rejection, of being ridiculed (social media is full of this), fear of failure, fear of being taken advantage of, fear of being seen as weak... all of these things only serve to make us distrustful. So up go those walls. But walls are limiting and separating. Bridges, however, connect us.
The problem with trust is that someone has to begin the process. And that can be a terrifying thought! However, there's no use waiting for the other person to make the first move. They probably have trust issues too. So trust might as well begin with me...or you, if your in the same boat. Trust takes a conscious act of "unconditional belief in that other person's good sense, ability, honesty, or sense of commitment to get the ball rolling." Will that trust be misplaced? Sometimes. Life isn't perfect and neither are humans...and certainly not frogs!. So, it's a toss-up. Put up walls and become an island unto yourself...or try trusting in others. Because sometimes that trust will pay off. I'm leaning more towards trust.....
Learning to trust will produce more good, I think, that it will harm. Pushing past the the Fear, fear with a capital F, and looking it straight in the eye we are able to tell Fear, in a kind and gentle way, "I am thankful to you for trying to keep me safe, but I am going to respectfully decline your offer for any additional help." And as soon as we can say that, a beautiful open door will magically appear in our wall, allowing us to step outside...maybe for the first time in our life...and see how beautiful the world can really be when you have a little trust.
Perhaps Ernest Hemingway was right after all. The only way we will ever know if someone is trustworthy, it try them out. Like the old saying goes, just because there's one bad apple in the barrel, you don't toss them all out. The rest of them are probably really good; bright, shiny, and trustworthy. And that's something you can really sink your teeth into!