"We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a person. We trust them to do right. It’s that simple."
~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
As many of the regular readers probably already know, I typically don’t watch a lot of TV each week. Outside of a college basketball game or a special event (such as the Oscars), I generally only watch one or possibly two regularly scheduled show each week (depending on the time of year).
At this time, I’m currently watching Shameless, a Showtime series that airs on Sunday nights, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, as well as a phenomenal supporting ensemble cast.
The show is about a family of South-side Chicago kids who are basically raising themselves due to their delinquent and mostly absent parents.
In this past week’s episode, it was an especially trying day for the de facto leader of the household, Fiona (played by Emmy Rossum). In a very powerful closing scene, her boyfriend, (played by Justin Chatwin) arrives home after a trying day of his own.
In a touching moment where her walls are down, Fiona tells Jimmy that "I trust you"... and to her... those words means a lot more than "I love you"...
Fade to black... credits roll...
I sat there for several moments mesmerized by that scene.
Love is mostly a unilateral emotion in so much as it doesn’t need to be earned nor reciprocated.
We can love people we don’t necessarily like or respect. Such may be the case of a family member or former friend or spouse.
We may love them for who they once were or who they might become one day.
We will always love our children no matter what... even if they are incapable of returning our love... for they’re a part of us.
Love doesn’t even need to be directed at another person... one might love their pet... their car... or themselves...
One of the enduring truths about love is that it need not be returned by the recipient. Love can be a one way street. It can be given back... but it’s not a requirement.
True love is unconditional...
Unlike like love, trust is rarely given unconditionally (nor should it be).
Trust instead is hard-fought and earned each and every day, month and year.
There are several fundamental elements of trust. These components may include: respect, integrity, character, honesty, charity compassion/empathy, and consistency.
There are many instances where someone can be loved by others but at the same time rarely be trusted by those same people (ask anyone who has raised a teenager).
Respect comes from setting good examples, taking the lead, and treating others with a modicum of decency. Someone may respect someone without actually loving or liking them much (a marine drill sergeant comes to mind).
My definition of integrity is relatively simple... say what you’ll do... and do what you say. It’s about making commitments and keeping commitments. Integrity is explicit not implied.
The character of a person comes from doing the right things all the time... even when there is no one looking. Character comes from deep inside a person. It is not about intentions or words... it is about actions. A person of high character lives their life by a certain set of principles and stays true to those principles... even when the going gets tough.
Honesty is simply telling the truth... the whole truth... and nothing but the truth. Honesty is about relating facts not opinions, rumors, and/or innuendo (unless a disclaimer is made telling the people involved that these are just your own opinions and they don’t necessarily represent the facts).
Sometimes too much "honesty" can hurt... therefore... it’s important to remember to consider compassion and empathy. A person who has been bestowed the gift of trust has been given the power to inflict hurt upon another individual. That power should never be abused or misguided. Trust is fragile.
A person who gives of himself, is a person of charity. This is a person who thinks of others first. Charity is about giving more than one receives... it seems like an unbalanced equation on the surface... but deep below... things like peace, community, happiness, comfort quietly balance the scales. A trustworthy individual is always thinking about "paying it forward" and helping others.
Trust doesn’t happen in a day... you never get one big chance to be trusted... instead you get a million of small chances. Trust is built one moment at a time... over the course of a lifetime. Therefore building trust takes consistency... it’s not one day on and one day off... trust is about doing the right things ALL THE TIME!!
When someone gives you their trust... they have given you the power and a great responsibility.
Trust is the highest value and the greatest compliment and it is reserved for those who earn and deserve it.
Becoming and staying trustworthy is a hard proposition... that’s why being trusted is a much greater honor than just being loved.
Trust always trumps love...
Thank you for your support and trust of OptiFuse, where we understand that building your trust is simply a summation of doing a lot of things right each and every day...
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse