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As you speak the next two statements, pause
and notice how different they feel:
I don't believe him.
I don't trust him.
There's an interesting overlap between the two.
When you disbelieve, maybe it was because
The person was mistaken,
Telling a joke,
Or occasionally telling a lie.
When you distrust, you expect
That the lie or mal-intent
Is purposely against you.
When we say, "Trust is a matter of belief."
We use "believe" in a different sense
Than the statement spoken above.
More precisely,
There is some combination of memory,
Expectation, and above all
That lights up all together to say,
"I trust" and "I expect to believe."
There is an old joke told about Nuclear Arms Control:
"Don't you trust us?"
"Of course we trust, but also we verify!"
Perhaps in the joke, one trusts the other always to lie.
Remember a time when trust was broken.
Some new fact or feeling
Called that "I trust" combination into question.
Often we ask, or are asked, "Are you sure?"
When the better question is, "How do you know?"
"Do I trust?" is a rich and complex question,
Often too big to answer all at once.
It's good to work it in bite-sized chunks.
Because none of us is
Entirely self sufficient,
Sometimes you just have to trust.
Sadly, even without mal-intent,
Sometimes trust is broken.
By mistake, unfortunate circumstance, or mis-calculation.
Broken trust hurts.
Sometimes a lot.
Treat trust not as a yes/no bit,
But as a bank account
With credit/debit and positive/negative balance.
Instead of asking,
"Who do I trust?"
Practice asking,
"How do I trust?"
So trust changes from being
A cliff you might fall off of,
To steps you make.
Sometimes higher, Sometimes lower.
Sometimes a steep climb
Worth the effort.
Sometimes a disappointment.
Never all one thing.
Always a choice.

22 August 2018

by Bill Cattey