In today’s world, lies and betrayals are everywhere. Sometimes even the people that we think should be most trustworthy, like the doctors and the preachers, twist facts for their own selfish gains. Should we still trust people?
It’s tempting to go out there and promise to never trust a single human being ever again. We all want to avoid the pain of being betrayed and cheated on. So we may want to look at everybody with a cynical eye and to question everything everyone says. That seems like the logical way to go about it: There are too many liars and cheaters out there so the solution is to trust no one.
But let’s think for a moment about what we lose when we accept such an attitude. First there is a level of peace that we have to give up once we choose to distrust everybody. If you go out there expecting everybody to betray you, you will constantly be like a soldier at the frontline of a battle, anxious and tense always, expecting attack from anywhere. You will hardly be able to relax among people.
Then there is also the caustic effect that distrust can have on relationships. Nobody wants to know that others think badly of them. So if you show someone, whether it’s your sister or your spouse, that you don’t trust them, either by your attitude or your words, you may be hurting them.
And people tend to dislike the cause of their pain. Such negative feelings will put strain on the relationship and may lead to arguments or silent treatments.
So what now? Do you trust everybody you meet? Extremes are always less than perfect.
Give people the benefit of the doubt, but keep your eyes open and your mind alert. Judge everyone you meet individually. You don’t have to blindly trust them from the start, but it doesn’t help to be overly distrustful either. Let people show you who they are before you decide whether or not they are trustworthy.
Maybe the best protection, however, is to trust yourself. Trust that you will be able to overcome whatever betrayal comes your way without losing hope in humanity or life. The human spirit is strong and if you only decide to put up a good fight no matter what happens to you, you can survive whatever tragedy someone unleashes on you with their betrayal.
But whatever you do, don’t show people that you doubt their good character.
And as always, cheers to life!