“In God we trust, in all others, we virus scan”
Principle 2: Trust others
The second sacred principle for creating trust is to repose trust in others. ‘Trust begets trust’ is an old maxim.
When parents show confidence in the ability of their child to take certain decisions, and also offer a silent support, they are depositing trust. In such a scenario, the child develops emotionally and grows to take positive decisions in life. Scottish author George Macdonald, whose writings have been considered as one of the greatest literary influences of the nineteenth century, said, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” The parents may love the child but when they trust her, they catapult the relationship to greater heights.
Likewise in other relationships, if we begin by trusting others, we open up a new world of possibilities.
You may doubt, “What if I am abused because of trusting someone?” The way to protect ourselves from being a victim is to use our common sense and be alert. However little risk is unavoidable if you want something better in life. A ship is safest when it’s at the harbor, but that’s not what it’s meant for. We may be safe without investing trust. But without trust there is no progress in any kind of relationship; it’s a drag at best, and at worst, a disaster in making.
The American Nobel laureate novelist, Ernst Hemmingway said, “The best way you can find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” It’s true that we may get cheated at times because of our trusting someone, but if we don’t trust enough, we’d feel a terrible vacuum in our hearts. If you want to be happy, you need to trust and be trusted.
The starting point for high trust is an inner mood of, “I trust him, and most people in this world are good people.” This doesn’t mean we blindly ignore reason. We do consider practical things, and don’t fall for a request to transfer hundred thousand dollars to some shady Nigerian account. The point is where is our heart? Do we believe we attract good friends and healthy relationships, or do we choose to always live in fear and cynicism? Remember the world is an echo; our conscious thoughts and desire to have a high-trust relationship helps us attract them. Again, that doesn’t mean we are foolish, it just means we ‘want’ to trust and love, rather than doubt and fear.
Most economists and social psychologists admit that the most important factor responsible for happiness is not money or health but relationships of trust. The American happiness researcher and author, Shawn Achor in his ‘The Happiness Advantage’ reveals that healthy social relationships are the best antidote for depression; it’s the finest prescription for high performance and also the greatest guarantee of sustained happiness. And any healthy relationship is based on positive trust, not on mere agreements.
Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the world-wide spiritual organization ISKCON, trusted his students. When he saw a little spark of interest in any of them for some service, he empowered them to take risks and sent them on seemingly impossible missions. For instance, if a young boy or girl expressed a desire to spread the mission in Japan, or some remote corner of Europe, he immediately affirmed it as a healthy ambition, and personally encouraged them to go for it. Naturally, his disciples felt loved by Srila Prabhupada, and in return they too offered their heart-felt love to him.
Let’s trust and know that we could gain from it. As Sarvesh Jain, India’s critically acclaimed author of ‘The Journey of 101 milestones’ says so poignantly, “You can be vulnerable to the right person, and still be incredibly safe.”