TRUST…What is it really?
If one looks up the word, TRUST, used as a noun, it has to do with confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence, or reliance. I’d like to start with the word, “assurance”. Can we really be assured that we can trust someone or something to be all those words? Confidence is a very strong word. It gives the feeling that we do not need to doubt because there is total confidence.If the truth be known, there is probably a little doubt in any of these words that we equate with trust.
- Think about this for a moment. We get in our car and drive somewhere in the world. Here, in front of us in a bridge…perhaps like this one below if we happen to be driving in China, which is not recommended. While we are on the subject of bridges…made by human beings; constructed by human beings; maintained by human beings…we might also be driving across the Millau-Viaduct Bridge in France. This is not for the faint of heart or those who have a fear of heights, because this is considered the world’s highest bridge.
We get to the airport and once again we are asked to trust: Trust that the security has been checked correctly and thoroughly; trust the pilot has not had a rough night; trust that the mechanics have performed their duties for our safe flight.
I remember getting on a Russian airlines, flying out of Ukraine at a small airport. The attendant at the gate checked my ticket and passport and we boarded. The flight crew decided that the runway would be safe enough to take off with holes in the runway and weeds growing out of big ruts. Having a second thought, he moved the plane over on the grassy area, gunned it and took off… while from inside I watched a very large screw dangle over my head. Immediately I wondered who serviced this plane? Looking at the man next to me, from Amsterdam, I asked, “Do you think we’ll make it?” He answered, “I trust we will.” Oh my, his trust was better than mine. This is only an example of how trusting we are with our lives. If we were not, we would surely miss the adventure that goes with seeing the world and exploring new places. Even staying at home in our bed has its risks. A man in Florida went to bed; a sink hole opened up and swallowed the whole house. (This is true.) As far as I know they never found him because the sink hole was so deep and this is his grave to this day.
Another one of the words about trust, is “reliance”. Almost everything in our lives has a reliance on others to do the right thing. We eat at a restaurant and we rely on the fact that the kitchen is clean and not filled with cockroaches or that the food has been properly refrigerated so that we don’t have an evening of agony from food poisoning. I usually check out a new restaurant’s bathroom…for a dirty bathroom usually means a dirty kitchen. This is not for certain, but possible a good connection. It has not worked a few times and tainted food does mean “I think I’m going to die!” We also rely on those who grow our food to not have a sewer ditch right next to where our vegetables are growing soaking up the water nearest them. Hopefully as you read this, you are not going soon to your next meal. Trust me…wait a while.
Saying the words, “Trust me” is something we often hear someone say. I think they mean that we can have confidence in what they are saying or doing. It is a glib statement that carries little weight…yet we do often “trust”…regardless.
All in all, to trust is a very scary thing. Even in relationships, we marry the person who promises to love us always. Many know that those trusts can be broken. For those who have found the person who also makes their way of life a trust-worthy one, we are most fortunate indeed.
Some of the people we trust the most are those in the medical field. We want to be certain that the nurse or the lab technician is careful to give the exact test asked for by the doctor as well as the correct results. When it comes to diagnosis, this is critical. Our physicians must have up-to-date training and knowledge as the average person must trust their opinions and proper treatment.
The family of the elderly must be certain that their loved ones are going to be cared for properly when they can not care for themselves. More than once I observed, when my Mother was in an assisted living facility, that she had to trust herself to be given the proper medicines. I had to step in, as her advocate, to assure that mistakes were not being made with her. Either the nursing attendants were overwhelmed with work or were simply careless when passing out the little cup with several medications. Once my Mother said, “No, no I don’t get that one.” It is sad to think of those who are in wheelchairs and mentally unable to challenge those whom they should be able to trust.
Even in faith, we are asked to trust. One of my favorite verses from the Holy Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5, 6. “TRUST in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
Back to the people we trust everyday: the restaurant owner, the engineer, the pilot, those responsible for our safety around the world and in our homes…those who care about us enough to protect us, I have one thing to say. Do your jobs diligently and even in the smallest details! Your job may not be important in your own eyes, but you may be a life saver to others. There are people out there trusting you. Never forget it.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” —Albert Einstein